What's in this Whole Foods prepared grain salad?
September 16, 2012 12:41 PM   Subscribe

Can you help me recreate this cranberry, pecan, and grain salad from the Whole Foods salad bar? I don't need an exact formula, just help figuring out what's in it. Sad, I know but I'm going crazy missing it!

I used to eat this stuff almost every day when I worked right by the Whole Foods in Westwood in LA. And later on it was the only thing i wanted when i had bad morning sickness. I'd say they had it at LA area WF two out of every three times I looked for it from 2010-2011, no idea if they still do. It lives or lived in the prepared, by the ounce, scoop your own section.

It's a dryish grain based salad but I'm not sure what grain - wheat berries? Wild rice? I don't know much about the more unusual grains. I'm pretty sure it has finely chopped salad onions and it definitely has pecan pieces and cranberries. No greens.

Do you know this salad? Can you help me piece together my own? I just moved to London and I can't stop thinking about it. Thanks!
posted by crabintheocean to Food & Drink (11 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Contact Whole Foods and ask! My friend got the recipe for her favorite turkey salad by emailing Whole Foods through their website.
posted by pineappleheart at 12:45 PM on September 16, 2012

Here's the Chowhound thread where I found the recipe below (about halfway down the page). It's a pearl couscous salad, so pasta, not a grain (though wild rice would be a delicious, and healthier, substitution). I've made this, dressing slightly changed to olive oil instead of canola, and saffron in place of the turmeric.

2c Israeli couscous, uncooked
1c dried cranberries
1c toasted pecans, quartered
2 scallions, minced

3T canola oil
1.5T champagne vinegar
Zest of 1 orange
Juice of 1⁄2 the orange you just zested
1⁄2 t turmeric
1⁄2 t dried thyme
1⁄2 t dried tarragon
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and add the couscous. When it's done (roughly 8-10 mins, or when it's al dente), drain it but do not rinse. Set aside and let cool while you mince the scallions, toast and chop the pecans, and make the dressing.

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the canola oil, vinegar, orange zest and juice, spices and salt and pepper.

3. In a large bowl, combine the couscous, cranberries, pecans and scallions. Pour the well-whisked dressing over it and toss to combine.

4. Serve immediately, or chill in the fridge for a few hours to blend the flavors.
posted by amelioration at 12:59 PM on September 16, 2012

This recipe from Whole Foods looks like a likely candidate. Sounds pretty tasty too. I might have to try making it sometime.
posted by sciencegeek at 1:00 PM on September 16, 2012

I use wheat berries in a salad like this, and they're great. More interesting than couscous and more substantial, to me at least, than wild rice. I take the hot berries and toss them with oil, vinegar, salt and garlic, and let them absorb it all as they cool.
posted by mollweide at 1:11 PM on September 16, 2012

Thanks, It's not either of those though. It's definitely not Israeli couscous - its a grain with a husk and softer center - and there are no tomatoes in it. I will email, but I'd love to hear from someone who has eaten it from the salad bar.
posted by crabintheocean at 1:11 PM on September 16, 2012

I've not had this salad, but might the grain be bulgur?
posted by hot soup girl at 1:25 PM on September 16, 2012

I'm pretty sure I've had something like this from Whole Foods that had a lot of black wild rice. Also there might have been goat cheese or feta?
posted by threeants at 1:42 PM on September 16, 2012

I've had a similar salad but the grain was farro. It's trendy lately.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 2:37 PM on September 16, 2012 [1 favorite]

I have had something very similar to this at Whole Foods, and I liked it so much I saved the ingredients sticker from it once. I don't have proportions, but I've recreated it before based on this ingredients list. You could do the same and add pecans.

Organic Kamut and Wild Rice with Dried Cranberries
Kamut, wild rice, dressing (orange juice, canola oil, red wine vinegar, sea salt, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, black pepper), red onions, dried cranberries, parsley, orange zest
posted by jessypie at 3:59 PM on September 16, 2012

Here's a Whole Foods farro salad like treehorn+bunny mentioned. That recipe has apples instead of cranberries but maybe you can examine the grain and see if it looks right.
posted by bcwinters at 5:30 PM on September 16, 2012

You know that WFM has several London stores, right?

I was a Whole Foodie on the East Coast for five years (1995-2000), so the salad I'm thinking of might not be the one you're after, but I definitely remember one with wheat berries, dried cranberries, and pecans. Maybe scallions too, but I never bought it, so I'm not positive about that and I have no idea about the dressing. I agree that calling the store is the thing to do!
posted by jocelmeow at 11:55 AM on September 17, 2012

« Older Maa, maa, maa? Thai tones and beginning language...   |   how did he do it? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.