Whole Grain Salad with Swiss Chard & Cherries

By Amanda Paa – Updated April 22, 2022

Whole Grain Salad with Swiss Chard & CherriesCherries: deep crimson red, sweet like candy, and enticingly fun to eat. This time of year I can’t get enough of them. Greedy me bought 6 pounds worth when Whole Foods had them for $1.99 a pound and I think my teeth nearly turned red from eating so many. It was a change from the red stain my pearly whites normally receive from this Famiglia Meschini Malbec-Syrah blend I’ve been diggin’ lately!

With this whole grain salad, I moved from sweet to savory with my cherry haul, which is a great way to use fruit in a different application.  A blend of quinoa and millet are the base, both being excellent sources of key minerals and nutrients, including B-complex vitamins, thiamine, iron, magnesium, phosphorous and potassium. They are also high in fiber and protein.  I julienned beautiful swiss chard that came in my box this week from my awesome CSA, Bossy Acres, along with their five variety basil mix. Toasted pepitas blend with the nuttiness of the quinoa and millet, making them a perfect match. Every couple of bites you’ll get a delightful sweetness from the cherries, which may just have you hunting for them like you do the red cherry Skittles in the King Size bag!

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A simple dressing of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and stone ground mustard mingles with all the healthy deliciousness. Which reminds me, those three ingredients are ones you should always have in your pantry. They are a few of the most versatile items that can jazz up a salad, sandwich, pasta, or marinade.


This salad is a fresh taste of summer, filled with peak of the season produce. It’s the perfect answer to your body nagging you for something cool and satisfying on a steamy day!

Whole Grain Salad with Swiss Chard & Cherries

-1/2 c uncooked quinoa
-1/2 c uncooked millet
-1 3/4 c water
-8 medium sized swiss chard leaves, chiffonaded
-10 basil leaves, chiffonaded
-1 c quartered cherries
-1/2 c toasted pepitas

Dressing
-1/4 c olive oil
-1/4 c stone ground mustard
-2 T quality balsamic vinegar
-1/2 t salt
-1/4 t pepper
-2 t lemon juice
-1 t water

Add water, quinoa, millet, and pinch of salt into pot. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat, covered, and cook for about 12 minutes, until quinoa and millet are tender. (Small coils will come off quinoa to let you know its done!) Remove from heat and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes, then fluff with fork. Stir in swiss chard and cover again for 5-8 minutes, which will allow steaming action for swiss chard to wilt. Add in basil, cherries, and pepitas. To make dressing, combine all ingredients except olive oil. Then slowly whisk in olive oil. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. Stir into salad and enjoy. Will keep in refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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July 30, 2012

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4 comments

  1. Marietta Palermo

    Are the cherries dried or fresh?
    Thanks, Marietta

    • amandapaa

      Fresh! But you could certainly rehydrate dried cherries in warm water, and then use in the salad.

  2. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabbles

    This salad is right up my alley, yum!! I am so enjoying the cherries right now!

    • amandapaa

      Me too Brenda! – I need to try your peach salad with that cumin dressing, sounds delicious!