Sunday nights are for two things:
Some much-needed time on the couch, and some super necessary nourishment.
Usually, by the time this final weekend day comes along, my body is beer and pizza-ed out. I crave something cushiony under my butt, and something leafy inside my belly.
Well, let’s be honest…
I’ve enjoyed many a Sunday night swooning over a pile of sesame noodles and crab rangoons because it’s hard to beat takeout (even the homemade kind) when you’ve had a long weekend.
But for those evenings when I’m eager to replenish my nutrients and revitalize my insides, I skip the Szechuan craving and head straight for this Sunday salad.
Not only is this glorious pile of greenery a balancing, delicious dish, it’s the ideal way to use up all of the half-used ingredients in your produce drawer.
I don’t know about you, but by the end of the week, my fridge seems to be full of plastic-wrapped and wilted veggies just begging to be recycled – a quarter of an avocado here, some frisee in the corner, a partially-eaten container of pea shoots there.
Although the bountiful amount of colorful, fresh ingredients in this salad make it perfectly fitting for a full-size meal, it’s the einkorn berries that give it its filling final touch.
It wasn’t that long ago that I asked the same question many of you might be wondering about right now:
What in the world is an einkorn berry, and what is it doing in my dinner?
I’ve just recently become an einkorn enthusiast (which is totally a rock star job title), and I think one chomp into this einkorn tomato basil pastry, you won’t be far behind.
I started by familiarizing myself with einkorn flour and I’m here to tell you that the flaky results of making pastry with this ancient form of wheat means it is truly an ingredient worth getting to know.
The berries themselves remind me of many other varieties of wheat berries (like farro or its cousin barley), and their chewy consistency and nutty flavor add a whole new layer of dimension to hot and cold dishes alike.
Other than a light dressing that sparks the leafy greens to life, the most important part of a salad is texture. Whether it’s a crunch or a crisp or even a snap, nothing energizes a bowl of greens like a little contrast.
That’s where the delicious grains come in.
And speaking of getting dressed…
During the week, I frequently have enough energy to muster up something more masterful, like a roasted garlic vinaigrette for a Caesar Salad or even a drizzle made with maple syrup, fresh herbs, and balsamic vinegar. And I’ve been known to make an outstanding herbaceous green goddess dressing.
But when it comes to a Sunday salad, I’m looking for a simple hint of acid (enter: lemon juice) blended with something sweet like honey.
The honey also harmonizes with the nutritious, heart-healthy einkorn berries and neutralizes their earthy flavor.
No pea shoots laying around? No worries. Can’t find any carrots? Try cucumber or zucchini ribbons instead.
When it comes to making a Sunday salad, the kitchen is your oyster.
Well, unless you gave in and ordered that takeout we talked about earlier. In that case, the kitchen is your oyster sauce…Print
A Sunday Salad
- Total Time: 45 minutes
- Yield: 4-6 servings as a side dish 1x
Thanks to a wholesome boost from einkorn berries, this go-to salad with floral basil and honey-lemon dressing is deliciously nutritious.
- 1/2 cup einkorn berries
- 1 cup water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 head red leaf lettuce (about 6 ounces), roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- 1/4 cup pea shoots (or substitute sprouts or microgreens), roughly chopped
- 2 large carrots, peeled into ribbons
- 4 tablespoons roasted salted sunflower seeds, divided
- 1 avocado, roughly cut into cubes, divided
- In a small saucepot over high heat, add 1 cup of water and the einkorn berries. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until all of the liquid is reduced and the einkorn is chewy, about 30-35 minutes.
- Bring the cooked berries to room temperature (or chill them in the fridge) and season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt before adding them to the salad.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, remaining salt, and pepper. Slowly stream in the olive oil, whisking to combine until the dressing is emulsified.
- In a large bowl, add the lettuce, basil, pea shoots, carrot ribbons, 2 tablespoons of the sunflower seeds, half of the avocado cubes, and the cooked einkorn berries. Several tablespoons at a time, pour the lemon-honey dressing over the salad, tossing to combine, until it is dressed to your liking.
- Divide the salad among bowls or plates and garnish with even portions of the remaining sunflower seeds and avocado cubes.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Salad
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keywords: salad, einkorn berries, avocado, pea shoots
Cooking By the Numbers…
Step 1 – Cook and Season the Einkorn Berries
In a small saucepot over high heat, add 1 cup of water and the uncooked grain. Bring the mixture to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the liquid has nearly evaporated and the einkorn has a chewy texture, about 30-35 minutes.
Bring the cooked berries to room temperature (or chill them in the fridge) and season with 1/4 teaspoon salt before adding them to the salad.
If you’d prefer to forego the einkorn, you could use whatever type of cooked grain you have leftover in the fridge. But I do encourage you to try it!
Step 2 – Make the Lemon-Honey Dressing
In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, honey, remaining salt, and pepper. Slowly stream in the extra-virgin olive oil, whisking to combine, until the dressing is emulsified. You can also make the dressing in a food processor or shake it vigorously in a jar.
Step 3 – Chop the Veggies for the Salad
Rinse, dry, and gently rough chop (or tear) the lettuce. Stack and roll up the basil leaves and then slide your knife through them, cutting them into ribbons. Rinse and rough chop the pea shoots.
To cut the carrots into ribbons, start by trimming the ends and then peeling away the rough outer skin with a vegetable peeler.
Keep rotating the carrot and peeling it lengthwise into long, thin ribbons. You’ll be left with a long skinny nub, which you can chop up and throw into the salad as well.
If you don’t have a carrot on hand, try zucchini or cucumber ribbons instead. You can make these the same way, or use your veggie spiralizer.
Remove the pit and chop the avocado into cubes.
Step 4 – Toss the Salad with the Dressing and Serve
In a large bowl (I love to pull out my wooden salad bowl for this!), add the lettuce, basil, pea shoots, carrot ribbons, 2 tablespoons of the sunflower seeds, half of the avocado cubes, and the cooked einkorn berries.
Several tablespoons at a time, pour the lemon-honey dressing over the salad and toss to combine, until it is dressed to your liking.
Divide the salad among bowls or plates, garnish with even portions of the remaining sunflower seeds and avocado cubes, and serve immediately.
Easy Like a Sunday Salad
Don’t be shy with your Sunday salad. There’s no need to copycat this recipe carrot-for-carrot. The star here is that sensational grain, and you get to take things into your own bowls from there.
Spruce up this dish with a Mediterranean flair by crumbling briny feta and olives over the top, and folding fresh dill into the fluffy einkorn.
Toasty little sunflower seeds add a crucial crunch to this mix. What’s your go-to nut or seed for salads? Pepitas? Roasted walnuts? Share your favorite crispy component in the comments below! And don’t forget to give this recipe a five-star rating if you loved it.
Looking for other above-average salads that pack in a sneaky protein? These filling recipes will keep you full and won’t let you down:
- Homemade Three Bean Salad
- Einkorn Salad with Radicchio and Walnuts
- Warm French Lentil Salad with Tomatoes, Marcona Almonds, and Goat Cheese
Photos by Fanny Slater, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published by Shanna Mallon on March 5, 2013. Last updated on July 4, 2020.
Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.
About Fanny Slater
Fanny Slater is a home-taught food enthusiast based in Wilmington, North Carolina who won the “Rachael Ray Show” Great American Cookbook Competition in 2014, and published her cookbook “Orange, Lavender & Figs” in 2016. Fanny is a food and beverage writer, recipe developer, and social media influencer. She was a co-host on the Food Network series “Kitchen Sink,” was featured on Cooking Channel’s longtime popular series “The Best Thing I Ever Ate,” and continues to appear regularly on the “Rachael Ray Show.”