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The Fresh Herb and Barley Salad
The Fresh Herb and Barley Salad at Fauquier Hospital is a celebration of colorful veggies, bright green herbs and a healthful grain.

Delicious Improv: Grain Salads

Grain salads can incorporate—and elevate—any healthful mix-ins or house-made dressings you’d like to show off.

Natalie Ramos
Natalie Ramos
Rodney Stockett (left) and Drew Niemann
Rodney Stockett (left) and Drew Niemann

The Fresh Herb and Barley Salad (above) is one of the grain salads we feature on our Bistro’s salad bar. Every day we typically have three healthy salads made with combinations of grains, fresh herbs and veggies from the hospital’s Healing Garden and our house-made salad dressings.

“Tabbouleh (the classic Middle Eastern cold grain salad) is easy to prepare: bulgur wheat tossed with parsley, mint leaves, tomatoes, garlic, lemon juice and oil. Customers like the fresh flavors and the dressings, especially the warm bacon vinaigrette. Another salad is Spicy Lentil Salad, with Basmati rice, veggies, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom and star anise.”
—Natalie Ramos, Director of Food and Nutrition, Fauquier Hospital, Unidine Corp., Warrenton, VA
“We started getting involved with Meatless Monday and began offering more vegan/vegetarian grain salads at the salad bar.

“We use farro, wheatberries, bulgur, rice and quinoa. A campus favorite is Chef Rodney’s Quinoa Salad with Golden Raisins and Petite Vegetables. He showcased this dish on local TV.
—Rodney Stockett, Chef and Drew Niemann, General Manager, Dining Services, Cabrini College, Radnor, PA

“We stuff an Anaheim pepper with a quinoa salad. It’s served cold and has a Mexican flavor profile.

“The salad has fresh tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, chives and Cotija cheese.

“The flavors are super fresh, and the stuffed pepper makes it a little different way to serve a cold grain salad.

“We usually use a mix of red, white and black quinoa, just to get a great color combination.”
 —Nick Sortore, Chef de Cuisine, Parker Adventist Hospital, Parker, CO

Summer Freekeh Salad with Heirloom Tomatoes and Goat Cheese

Yield: 4-6

1 cup cracked freekeh
2 ½ cups vegetable broth or water
a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup non-fat goat cheese
1 cup of chopped fresh sugar snap peas
fresh basil  leaves, rinsed and chopped
2-3 large fresh tomatoes cut into large chunks (with skins on)
a few teaspoons apple cider vinegar  or red wine
vinegar (or more to taste)
salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
(optional: Add 1 15.5-ounce can of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained for added protein)

1. For the freekeh: Pour 2 ½ cups of broth and the freekeh in a saucepan and bring to a boil, cooking for 1 minute. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for about 25 minutes until the freekeh is tender.
Let the freekeh cool before making the salad.
2. Assembling salad: Toss all ingredients together except the cheese. Then add the crumbled cheese, making sure not to mix too much. Serve chilled.

Photo and recipe: Bonnie Matthews,

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