Enjoy this guest post by culinary nutritionist and Robin Plotkin of Robin’s Bite:
Move over, potato salad and coleslaw – strawberry salad is coming through! Make room at the picnic table for Grilled Strawberry and Asparagus Freekeh Salad any weekend! This strawberry salad is filled with flavor and nutrients!
The grill is on, right? It’s time to throw asparagus on–a no-brainer–AND skewered strawberries (trust me) to make this simple side salad that will elevate your typical picnic fare.
I’m adding strawberries to ALL of my grain-based salads these days. This salad requires a tiny bit of grilling for the strawberries-just to soften and release some of the juices as it adds to the flavor of the salad. This particular salad uses the ancient grain Freekeh, which is actually a process which means “to rub”. It’s a high protein, high fiber whole grain that works well with many flavors.
The ingredients in this salad make for a well balanced, healthy, nutrient-rich recipe. The real beauty is that different grains can be substituted as can different nuts and even veggies. The one thing you DON’T want to change are the strawberries! Why?
Strawberries are a nutritional powerhouse:
- Strawberries are naturally sweet but low in sugar (only 8 grams per cup), and provide a unique combination of essential nutrients, dietary fiber and health-promoting phytochemicals.
- One serving of eight medium strawberries is only 50 calories.
- CA strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C: More vitamin C per serving than an orange and 110% of the daily value.
- 1 cup strawberries
- 6-8 stalks of asparagus
- ¾ cup cooked Freekeh (½ cup dry)
- 1 Tbsp shaved/grated Parmesan or 6-8 shaved pieces
- 1 Tbsp walnuts, toasted (optional) and chopped
- ½ Tbsp olive oil plus ½ Tbsp for drizzle
- Salt and pepper
- 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 skewers (soaked in cold water if wooden)
- Turn on grill and set to medium heat.
- While the grill is preheating, cook Freekeh according to package directions.
- Clean, wash and dry asparagus stems. Place asparagus, olive oil, salt and pepper in a plastic bag. Shake gently to coat the asparagus. Place on grill and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until desired tenderness is achieved.
- While asparagus is cooking, clean and dry whole strawberries (leaving stems intact) and thread onto skewers. Place on grill for about 2-3 minutes or until the strawberries are just soft. Remove from skewers; remove the stems and cut into halves or fourths.
- When asparagus is cooked, remove from grill and allow to cool. Chop into 1-inch pieces.
- In a large bowl, gently toss ¾ cup of the cooked Freekeh, strawberries, asparagus and walnuts. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Top with freshly grated or shaved Parmesan.