Simmer a pot of nutritious whole grains this weekend, and you’ll have a hearty, versatile ingredient on hand for the week. Their protein and the full feeling you get from eating them make whole grains fundamental to a fresh, plant-based diet — the subject our new cookbook, Good For You.
In the book, author Dana Jacobi explores grains such as quinoa, barley, farro and bulgur, explaining how they can be incorporated into a variety of meals. Toss them into salads and soups, serve as a pilaf or risotto, or shake up your oatmeal routine with a new breakfast cereal. These whole grains can also be ground into flour for baking or making fresh pasta.
No matter how you use them, you’ll want to master the best cooking technique for each grain. Here are six basic recipes for cooking some common grains. We promise — brown-bag lunches and weeknight dinners will be easier than ever!
Quinoa: Rinse 1 part quinoa with cold water and drain through a fine-mesh sieve. Repeat 3 times, then place in a saucepan. Add 2 parts water and a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and let stand at least 5 minutes before using.
Barley: In a saucepan, bring 4 parts water to a boil. Add 1 part pearl barley and a pinch of salt and simmer until the grains are tender, about 45 minutes. Drain before using.
Farro: In a saucepan, combine 1 part rinsed semi-pearled farro with 2 parts water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the grains are tender and the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes.
Bulgur: In a saucepan, combine 1 part medium-grain bulgur and 2 parts water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the grains are tender, 10-12 minutes.
Polenta: In a saucepan, bring 5 parts broth or water to a boil along with a large pinch of salt. Slowly whisk in 1 part coarse polenta. Simmer, stirring often, until the polenta pulls away from the sides of the pan, 20-45 minutes.
Brown Rice: In a saucepan, combine 1 part rice, 2 parts water, and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until the rice is tender and the water is absorbed, 45-60 minutes.
Look for Good For You in Williams-Sonoma stores!