Friday, September 30, 2011

Arugula, Radish, and Grains Salad

While normally I think of myself as an adventurous eater, there are some things, I still shy away from.  Beef tongue?  Pork trotter?  No problem.  Quinoa?  No, thanks.  Seriously.  I've been a flexitarian for years now (probably between 15 - 20 years of eating meat just a couple times a week, and sometimes less than that.  Of course, sometimes more, too).   I love tofu and have eaten it many different ways.  I love lentils and other beans.  However, I haven't branched out to the grains.  Too hippy, I've always thought (I know, I can hear you laughing at me now).  This recipe inspired me to buy no less than 3 grains I've never, ever bought before.  I will be buying those grains again.  I may even try some other quinoa recipes.

It was the radishes and arugula that inspired me to take the plunge into not typical US mainstream grains.  In our CSA box last week, we got two large bunches of different radishes.  My favorite were included---the red ones that when you slice you see pink rings in the middle.  I am not a radish fan.  I'll eat them in chicken tacos (aahh.....must make those again soon!), but that's about it.

Curtis and I loved this.  I didn't even offer it to our kids.  I figure once it's on the table a few more times, I'll have them taste it.  By then, they'll be used to seeing it and it won't seem so strange.  Plus, if I shared, then I wouldn't have any for lunch for myself today.  I also shared some with my in-laws and they thought it was pretty good.

I made a half recipe which easily served 4 - 6 people as a side.  The amounts included are my half recipe amounts.

Arugula, Radish and Grains Salad 
adapted slightly from Amanda Hesser on

1 c mixed grains, like farro, freekah, wheatberries, wild rice, quinoa, and/or pearl barley (I used wild rice, farro, and quinoa)
3/4 - 1 c arugula, torn if on the larger side, long stems trimmed off
1/2 c parsley leaves, chopped
1/4 c mint leaves, thinly sliced (cut in a chiffonade)
1/4 lb pecans
2 T hazelnut oil (or walnut oil, hazelnut was just what I had on hand)
2 T red wine vinegar
1/2 - 3/4 c radishes, cut as thinly as possible (a mandoline makes this easier)
2 T olive oil
1/4 c raisins
1/4 c dried cranberries

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil.  If using wild rice and wheat berries, add those first and cook for 10 minutes.  Add whatever remaining grains you are using and cook an additional 25 minutes or until just tender.  Drain the grains in a fine colander (if your holes are too big, the quinoa will all escape with the hot water) and set aside until just warm to the touch.  Combine the grains with the rest of the ingredients in a medium-large serving bowl and toss well.  Season with salt to taste (if you heavily salted the water, you probably won't need to add any extra salt).

1 comment:

Tracy Novinger said...

It was wonderful! I just remembered the dish fondly and am delighted to find the recipe now on whatsfordinner. Now I shall endeavor to replicate it. Thanks.