Healthy and Delicious: Cooking with Whole Grains
Farro: Farro and Porcini Risotto
Grains can be chewy, creamy, nutty, and savory -- oh, and did we mention healthy? Cooking with a variety of whole grains will keep kitchen boredom at bay. We use them in soups, risotto, and veggie burgers, and we especially like grain salads; they're a wonderful way to span the gap from one season to the next; and given their heartiness, they're particularly good during the cold months.
Farro, an ancient grain with a rich, nutty flavor, stands in for rice in this risotto.
Farro: Roasted Sweet-Potato and Farro Salad
Savory, sweet, and nutty all at once, this is a salad that can be enjoyed warm or chilled -- and is both hearty and seasonally suitable to make during the winter.
Quinoa: Fennel and Quinoa Salad with Parsley and Dill
Yes, we know quinoa is a seed not a grain, but it often gets lumped with whole grains -- because it is quick to cook, had lovely fluffy grains, and is wondefully healthy: it's protein-rich and boasts a slew of nutrients. This cool salad of crisp, thinly shaved fennel, pungent parsley and dill, nutty quinoa, and a squeeze of fresh lemon is a refreshing dish year round.
Quinoa: Quinoa Pie with Butternut Squash
This dish is not a pie in the usual pastry sense of the word, but this molded quinoa dish with roasted butternut squash is cooked in a pie plate, and is as hearty and irresistible in its own way as any dish with one crust or two.
Quinoa: Toasted-Quinoa Saute with Lemony Cabbage and Dill
Toasting quinoa, like with other grains, enhances its flavor, making it extra savory and nutty and a particularly good partner for a lively mix of cabbage, chickpeas, and olives.
Quinoa: Veggie Burgers
These veggie burgers get their rich, earthy flavor from mushrooms and quinoa, and are topped with sharp radish sprouts and cool cucumbers. Greek yogurt is a zesty Mediterranean replacement for ketchup.
Barley: Watercress and Barley Salad
Maybe you've used pearl barley in soup before: Now it's time to try it in salad, where its rich, nutlike flavor and wonderfully chewy texture come to the fore.
Barley: Barley Risotto with Swiss Chard, Radishes, and Preserved Lemon
When you gradually add warm broth to barley, it turns tender and creamy -- the same texture that Arborio rice gives risotto.
Barley: Mushroom Barley Soup
This classic recipe comes from Martha's mom, Big Martha.
Bulgur: Tabbouleh with Red and Gold Tomatoes
Most famously, bulgur is the main ingredient in tabbouleh. It's a form of wheat made from cracked, parboiled, and dried wheatberries. Its grains are small, and it's quick and easy to prepare: Just soak it; no cooking required.
Bulgur: Bulgur Salad with Feta and Pine Nuts
Chewy bulgur, tangy feta, crunchy nuts, shallot, cucumber, and citrus make this a satisfying salad and a dish to make year-round.
Bulgar: Mediterranean Grain Salad
Crumbled goat cheese, grape tomatoes, and fresh parsley mix with the bulgar to create a grain salad that is deliciously fresh and light.
Millet: Lemon-Saffron Millet Pilaf
In case you were wondering, millet is the stuff often used in birdseed, but it's too good to leave to our feathered friends. It's yellow and round and boasts a unique texture when cooked that lands somewhere between fluffy and pleasantly chalky. It makes an excellent pilaf.