Grain salads anyone?

Annie Deighnaugh

For who knows why, I'd like to try out some grain-based salads. I've not really made them other than a lentil salad. I've never cooked with bulgur or farro, and for me, barley only ends up in soup. (DH likes kasha, but I can't even stand the smell of it cooking.) The other day, my GF asked if there was a way to make quinoa taste good and I said I didn't know of any.


I'm thinking they might make a nice alternative to a hot meal with the summer months coming. Anyone have any T&Ts they'd care to recommend? TIA!

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party_music50

If it's not pre-rinsed, make sure you rinse the quinoa well so that it doesn't have the bitter saponin coating.

For a cool summer meal, I occasionally make a "tabouli" but use either quinoa or barley, rather than bulgur. Then I also make sides of tzatziki and either hummus or garlic green beans. Sometimes I have just that, and sometimes I'll also make chicken souvlaki/kabobs to go with it.

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l pinkmountain

Three of my favorites:

  1. Tabouleh, which is made with parsley, mint, lemon, evoo and bulgur wheat. Other ad-ins like tomatoes, celery, cucumbers and peppers optional. I live to serve it with falafel for a complete protein. Can also add feta. I have no recipe, I wing it.
  2. The quinoa salad from one of my favorite blogs, "Smitten Kitchen." I like it more because of the kale than the quinoa, which I don't much care for. I can't get ricotta salata so I use goat cheese. https://smittenkitchen.com/2014/03/kale-and-quinoa-salad-with-ricotta-salata/
  3. This farro salad from Giada DeLaurentis. I used cooked whole farro, not cracked. It takes a while to cook. You can throw in whatever veggies you like. This is good with ratatouille. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/farro-salad-with-tomatoes-and-herbs-recipe-1941860

I have a barley salad recipe too, but will have to post after work. I've never been able to like cold rice salads, which is weird because rice is one of my favorite foods. I just don't like it in combo with salad dressings and cold.

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eld6161

Having two vegetarian DD's, I've been around the block with quinoa.

My oldest loves mango and here is her favorite:

Mango Quinoa

3 cups cooked quinoa (1 cup dry) let cool

14 oz black beans, rinsed and drained

large mango (about 1 cup pre sliced)

1 red peper, diced

8 scallions, using green only

2 TBS finely chopped cilantro

Dressing

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

6 TBS white vinegar

6 TBS olive oil

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 TBS honey

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1/8 tsp freshly cracked pepper.

After the quinoa cools, combine all the solid ingredients.

In a salad jar, mix the dressing.


Notes: I do not use all the dressing. But, add more after 2 hours.


I have a few more: Southwest black bean, and a Kale and Quinoa which is a copycat from Cheesecake factory.



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gardengal48 (PNW Z8/9)

I make tabouli often in summer. But I consider it less of a salad and more of a cold side dish. Great with grilled chicken or lamb. And like pinkmountain, I just wing it :-)

I also make rice salads, often a curried rice salad with fruit (apples, grapes, sometimes raisins or craisins) and sometimes adding chicken.

And not really a grain but I also make couscous salad with any Mediterranean type igredients - tomatoes, cukes, red onions, kalamata olives, feta or goat cheese, etc. with a lemony vinaigrette dressing.

I never use a recipe when making a salad so have none to share. I just toss in what have on hand or what I think will go well with the rest of the ingredients or main dish.

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ritaweeda

I did a farro salad once and have no idea where I got the recipe (sorry) but it was really good, I'm sure it was off some website. From what I remember it was a Mediterranean type salad. I was given a recipe for quinoa and kale salad, it was pretty good, but I actually like quinoa more in things like stuffed vegetables and casseroles. DH doesn't like couscous or I would make that often because I like it. I do an Asian type salad with rice in it - I can't think of any other grain except for pasta but I don't think that counts on this post.

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party_music50

Not a salad, but quinoa makes a nice pilaf, especially because it cooks so quickly. I also don't cook by recipe -- more by mood. I'll saute some onion in OO/butter, add quinoa and water/stock, then add in things like raisins, sliced almonds, green onions, etc.

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chloebud

This is from Fine Cooking. Not sure...could be some repeats in the two links.


https://www.finecooking.com/collection/grain-salad-recipes


https://www.finecooking.com/tag/grain-salads

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

I've never followed one-note, one grain salads. We have been making multi-grains and various beens.grains/seeds for eons. No recipe.

Remember that on-line and magazines need followers. They tend to have copy-writers that do not necessarily cook or garden...but write about various subjects for content. Often regurgitating/parroting old recipes to present what they are paid to do...make stuff up for advertising dollars. (After a decent study most of the time). Recipe writers are not other worldly geniuses. Very few are.

So many grains/beans/seed/nuts/fresh veg, compliment each other.

My pantry has a dozen grains, a dozen beans, nuts, seeds in the freezer...dried fruits. I've never made just quinoa.

If you have had a good summer pasta salad, just use a mixed grain instead. Olives, grapes, sun dried toms, minced celery, diced fresh apple, fresh herbs. Lots of lemon. Flavor combinations you like.

Add toasted sesame seed, pepitas, cashews, dried fruit, fresh fruit, sunflower seed, chia, pistachio, edamame, flax seed, hemp seed meal...endless




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plllog

Quinoa needs to be rubbed and rinsed and cooked, unless you're buying ready to eat. The best quinoa salad I've had had a sweet vinegar kind of similar to the Japanese classic for sunomono, but with more of an herb/pepper flavor profile. The sugar really plays well with the quinoa. In that were small dice of the usual things--carrots, peppers, celery, etc., maybe water chestnuts.

Three bites and I'm over tabbouleh. I was once served a nice salad sort of inspired by it: I think it was actually cooked wheat berries rather than bulgar, and the greens were more bitter, like spinach and arugula, than green like parsley. I liked it. I don't know if that's just because it was different, though.

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sleevendog (5a NY 6aNYC NL CA)

If you don't like a grain, you have a bad chef.

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bragu_DSM 5

Eld:

Tried the quinoa salad .... think it need less olive oil and a tad more salt. Pineapple might be grand in it too. Will do it again. Quinoa package directions call for way too much water ... a 1:4 ratio ... I like the honey in it.

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laceyvail 6A, WV

I adore both farro and barley, in fact, I use them in place of rice in most recipes. (I haven't used white rice in over 40 years and I never really liked brown rice.) I'm about to try kamut also, which I'm guessing will be a lot like farro. Freekeh has turned out to be very much like bulgar.

Also, a quinoa tip--the flavor is VASTLY improved if you dry toast it in the pan before you add the water. And don't add twice as much water as quinoa; add a little more than the same amount and add more only until the tails appear. Huge improvement in flavor--and I'm not a real quinoa lover.

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Fun2BHere

I haven't tried this one yet. I just saw it on Ina Garten's show. https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/charlie-birds-farro-salad-6589464

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ci_lantro

I like Ina Garten's Wild Rice Salad.


https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/wild-rice-salad-recipe-2108371


I omitted the pecans when I made it.

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Annie Deighnaugh

Thank you all so much for the great suggestions...I'll certainly have fun exploring all these options!

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Jasdip

I made quinoa the other day to go alongside my chicken. The secret to quinoa is to not overcook it. Just barely a simmer and for 12-14 minutes. The first time I tried it, the package said to cook for 20 minutes and it was horrible. I like it with a wee bite to it still.

Any dressing.....lemon juice and honey, garlic, type thing. I put dried cranberries in and chopped herbs. Really good.

I also love tabouleh and as others have mentioned I use quinoa for that as well. I don't like barley at all, except I will put some pearl barley in with some brown rice when I remember.

I'm wanting to try more grain salads as well, so this is a very timely thread, Annie!

I wrote out this recipe today to try. It calls for instant brown rice (Minute Rice,etc). The only thing I'm unsure of is roasting the spinach till it's crispy for added crunch to the salad.

brown rice and crispy spinach salad


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