Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Mixed Whole Grain Salad

As we approach warmer weather, consider this salad as a healthy accompaniment to barbecued ribs, chicken or fish.  It would also make an excellent item to pack for a picnic lunch.

Grain Salad

½ cup wild rice, rinsed
½ cup basmati rice, rinsed
¼ cup pearl barley
½ cup couscous
1 1/4 cups radicchio, thinly sliced
2 ounces stemmed, washed and well drained spinach thinly sliced
3 scallions, trimmed, thinly sliced to make ½ cup
¼ cup chopped Italian parsley leaves
Salt and pepper to taste
10 to 12 whole leaves of radicchio

¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground pepper


To save time, use four saucepans and cook all grains at the same time.

Put wild rice in a small saucepan and pour enough water to cover.  Bring to boil, season lightly with salt if desired.  Reduce heat to low and cook until tender, about 45 minutes, adding more water if necessary.  Drain and transfer rice to one section of a large cookie sheet and let cool.

Repeat same process with basmati rice.  Cook about 30 minutes

Repeat same process with pearl barley.  Cook about 20 minutes.

Boil water.  Put the couscous in a small saucepan.  Pour boiling water over top, just to cover, season lightly with salt and cook over low heat for 1 or 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.  If the couscous has not absorbed all the liquid, cover and let steam for about 2 more minutes.  Drain any remaining water, transfer to the tray, and fluff with a fork.

Allow all the grains to cool.  In a large bowl, combine them with all the salad ingredients (radicchio, spinach, scallion and parsley) and gently toss to combine.  Set aside.  The salad can be refrigerated at this point and finished close to serving time.

In a small bowl, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients and set aside.  When needed whisk again.

When ready to serve, toss grain salad mixture with just enough of the vinaigrette to moisten.  Correct the seasoning to taste with salt and pepper if necessary.

To serve, place a large radicchio leaf on each plate.  Spoon 1/3 cup of salad into each leaf and serve immediately.

Nutritional information (includes vinaigrette) per 1/3 cup serving:
174 calories, 31% fat (6g), 61% carbohydrates, 8% protein, 22 mg calcium

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