Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad

Tuesday 15 June 2021

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 

I love hearty salads such as this grain salad that I am sharing with you today. Not only are they delicious and filled with fiber, but they are very simple to make.
When I lived in the UK, there was a really delicious one that I used to pick up at Marks & Spencers. I loved the food at M&S. I always said if I won the lottery I would only shop at M&S.

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 
They had the most brilliant food court!  All of their produce and meats were par excellence! 

You may have paid a little bit more, but everything had a much longer shelf life than from the other shops. I would rather spend a little bit more and know that I wasn't going to have to throw things away because they went off before I could get them used.

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad   
Their ready made sandwiches were a hundred percent better than anyone else's.  They were generously filled and the bread was always fresh tasting.

Likewise their salads.  Exemplary.  I loved their grain salad because it had a delicious dressing and was the perfect size for me to have for a lunch on two days running.

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 
I also used to buy all of my undergarments and nightwear there as well.  It literally lasted forever.  Good quality.  We also used to buy my estranged husband's shirts, trousers, socks, etc. there as well.

Quality merchandise that lasts. You can't beat it. I will really miss M&S.

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 

This is actually a salad that my sister brought over to me the other day.  I thought it was so delicious that I just had to share it with you. It was right up my alley.

Perfectly cooked grains mixed with bitter baby arugula, sharp spring onions, toasted pecan nuts, and the sweetness of dried cranberries.

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 
The grain mix she used was one which contained wheat berries, barley and oats.  It was a delicious blend. My sister is really into health foods, natural ingredients and whole grains.

She eschews anything with lots of sugar and preservatives.  She hates anything really processed.  I have to admit I am not fond of anything which is highly processed myself, although I do have a bit of a sweet tooth. (As you know!)

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 
I do try to reign in in during the week and basically only bake treats at the weekend.  During the week, I do try to eat much healthier, and this salad was right up my alley! 

It was one of those salads that you can't stop picking at.  Yes, I can be very naughty at times! Okay  . . .  most of the time. Meh . . . 

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 
Don't worry if you can't get that particular mix of grains.  You can use whatever grain mix you enjoy, just so long as it amounts to the same quantity. What you want to end up with is approximately 1/2 cup cooked per person or serving. 

So about 1 1/2 cups cooked grains. You can use wheat berries, wild rice, farrow, quinoa, oats, Ebly, brown rice, etc. Just pick your favorites and cook according to the package direction, in chicken stock, of course!

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 
You could even add some cooked lentils or chickpeas for additional protein.

Baby arugula (or rocket as it is called in the UK) is one of my favorite salad leaves.  It has a slightly bitter, peppery, almost meaty flavor that I really enjoy!

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 
It works really well in salads such as this one. It holds up well and doesn't wilt easily like other salad leaves do when they come into contact with salad dressings.  Arugula is a sturdy leaf! 

I have been known to eat it by the handful and I can tell you up front, it is excellent in meat sandwiches!  Bacon and tomato sandwiches, etc.  Its just great in sandwiches!

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 
The dried cranberries add a touch of sweet and some color as well. I love dried cranberries and cranberries are very good for you.  I love to add them to things like this salad.  Excellent!

If you don't like cranberries, dried cherries would work well also!  I think a mix of raisins would also be very good.

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad 
Not only are the grains slightly nutty in taste and texture, but there is also a quantity of chopped pecan nuts in this salad.  I adore pecans. They have a beautiful taste, almost caramel-like, especially if you toast them first.

And as I always say, toast your nuts!  It doesn't take a lot of effort and the end result is a moreish nut that just tastes nuttier!

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad

 The dressing is a punchy, slightly sweet balsamic, maple and mustard dressing. That a beautiful trinity of delicious flavors! I thought it was quite wonderful.

A bit of a play on honey mustard, but it totally works.  Sweet, spicy, a tiny bit of heat.  Yummilicious!

This tasty salad is great in lunches on its own, but it also makes a fabulous side dish to serve with your grilled foods this summer!  Chicken, pork, beef, lamb, fish. This salad spells "WINNER" next to any of these things.  Enjoy!

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad

Cranberry, Arugula & Grains Salad

Yield: 6
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 5 MinCook time: 14 MinTotal time: 19 Min
This is a lovely salad to have in the refrigerator for lunches throughout the week. Hearty and delicious.


  • 9 ounces (250g) wheat, barley & oat blend mix for cooking (You can use any type of grains that has a variety of grains that you cook together as a mix, approximately 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 1/2 cups (375ml) chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 TBS balsamic vinegr
  • 2 TBS maple syrup
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp each salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (75g) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped toasted pecans (* see note)
  • 2 spring onions, trimmed, washed and chopped
  • 3 cups (150g) baby arugula (rocket)
To serve:
  • Crumbled feta cheese (optional)


  1. Bring your chicken broth to the boil in a medium saucepan.  Add the grains blend, reduce the heat to low and stir.  
  2. Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until all of the broth has been absorbed and everything is tender.
  3. Spread out onto a small baking sheet so that it cools slightly.
  4. Whisk the vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, mustard, salt and pepper together in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Add the cooked grains, arugula, cranberries, pecans and spring onions. Toss to combine completely.
  5. Serve warm, or refrigerate for up to 2 days.
  6. Serve with or without crumbled feta cheese sprinkled over top.


To toast the pecans, preheat the oven to 350*F/180*C/ gas mark 4. Spread the nuts out onto a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes. Alternately you can toast them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 5 to 7 minutes.

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  1. Oh yes! This salad is exactly the sort of thing we love and as luck would have it, I have everything home to make it, so I'll be doing it as part of our dinner tonight. Yum, I can't wait!

    1. I sure hope you enjoy it Marie! I am on pins and needles and have my fingers crossed! I thought it quite delicious! xoxo

  2. Oh ! My daughter just told me today that I really should try Quinoa . Never tried it before , so now I have your recipe I really have no excuse ! Thankyou Marie :) x

    1. I hope you enjoy it Debs! I think it really delicious. Let me know how you get on! xoxo

  3. It looks so good, Marie and healthy to boot. Wouldn't it go well with salmon on a Friday night. I wonder if couscous would work. Strange about your readership going down since you revamped the blog? What's that about? Take gentle care. Love and hugs, Elaine

    1. I think it would be wonderful with Salmon and I am sure you could use Couscous Elaine! I checked with Mediavine about the traffic, and it hasn't gone down, except for a small blip on the first day, its simply that blogger for some reason isn't taking note of it. Funny that as it always did before! In any case I hope you make the salad and enjoy it! Love and hugs, xoxo

    2. Great idea. Where does one find grain mix in the supermarket?

    3. My sister gets hers in the whole foods/health foods section of the supermarket. Her mix had oats, barley and wheat in it. Hope this helps. Alternatively, you can make your own mix of what grains you like and cook them as per the package directions, simply mixing them with the greens, cranberries, onions and dressing when done!

  4. Marie, thought you might want to know. There is an ad that covers part of the recipe content. I tried to report it to Mediavine, but the ad at the bottom of the page covers the part of the reporting window where you send it. Sigh. This looks a treat though. Maybe if I print it I can get the whole recipe.

    1. Oddly enough the ad doesn't cover any part of the recipe on my pc, or iPad or phone. the recipe wraps around it. I will get in touch with Mediavine to see what is up! If you print, there are no ads on the printout. Sorry about this! xoxo


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