This week’s French Friday’s with Dorie was a salad, which was just perfect because earlier in the week it was definitely salad weather around here. In addition, I was pretty excited for this one as I practically had everything already (always a bonus)!
I did use spelt berries instead of wheat berries, but I don’t think it made any noticeable difference in the finished dish. I halved it (since there are just two of us), skipped the tomato, and used a jazz apple instead of strictly red one.
For those that don’t have Around My French Table yet, this is basically just a tuna salad that is mixed with a Dijon vinaigrette, onion, apple, celery, chopped hard boiled eggs, avocado, red bell pepper, and cooked wheat (or spelt) berries and served over greens — in this case arugula. So delicious — crunchy, cool, and really flavorful!
Here’s a link to everyone’s posts and my photos below.
. . . → Read More: FFwD: Wheat (Spelt) Berry and Tuna Salad
Well. Like the rest of the west, we are having a bit of a heatwave here. Which isn’t that surprising I guess because it is summer, but it is still Portland, so yeah, I am honestly a bit surprised. When the weather is all hot, gross, and annoying outside, this is a great dinner option. Aside from cooking the sorghum (which you can do in the morning, when it’s still cool), the only heating involved is to quickly sear the tuna.
Sorghum (also called Milo) is a fun little ancient whole grain that, “was collected 8000 years ago in Southern Egypt, in a place called Nabta Playa. Sorghum was domesticated in Ethiopia and Sudan and from there moved throughout all of Africa, where it remains an important cereal grain.” (Whole Grains Council). It is also gluten free if that’s the sort of thing that matters to you.
Now, if you don’t have any sorghum (but you really should — it’s easily found nowadays at Whole Foods, plus New Seasons and probably even Fred Meyer in the pdx area), you could easily substitute quinoa or even brown rice for the salad. And . . . → Read More: Sorghum Sushi Salad with Seared Tuna and Avocado
Recently, Freekehlicious offered to send me some Freekeh from to try, which was very exciting, as I had heard of the grain before and had wanted to experiment with it for awhile.
So, what is freekeh, you ask? Well, freekeh is a grain that I think looks a little like spelt. “Young roasted green wheat is harvested while still young and green, then parched, roasted and dried. The process captures and retains the grains at the state of peak taste and nutrition.” And besides that, it’s just a really tasty whole grain and a healthier replacement for rice (or even pasta).
The cooking time is about what you would expect — 20-30 minutes. For the sake of experiment, I tried soaking it for 8 hours, while I was as work, before cooking and was able to then cook it in about 10 minutes (this was the cracked freekeh, but I’m sure that would work with the whole grain freekeh as well).
When looking for inspiration for freekeh, I turned to one of the cookbooks that I usually look to first when I need some ideas on what to do with . . . → Read More: Freekeh with Green Onion Sauce, Toasted Walnuts, Asparagus and Tuna + a Giveaway
This is a hearty bowl of soup. Spelt replaces the pasta for a healthy, toothsome addition. Sometimes referred to as spelt berries, they aren’t berries at all, but rather Spelt is an ancient whole grain related to modern day wheat. It’s high in magnesium, fiber, phosphorus and vitamin B3 and provides a pleasingly chewey texturehsome chew. Use it in salads, soups, and baked good. It can also be ground and used as flour. In fact, my new bread obsession is the Spelt Bread from Dave’s Killer Bread.
This is also the bowl of soup you want whether you are house-bound right now in the snowy Midwest, DC or even watching the rain fall in the gray winter of Portland. So comforting and filling. You probably even have a lot of the items you need to make it right now. Just go get some spelt. It’s okay, I’ll wait.
Note: for a summer version, replace butternut squash with zucchini and the kale with trimmed green beans and/or baby spinach and add in the last 15 minutes of cooking time.
. . . → Read More: A Soup for Cold Weather: Winter Spelt Minestrone
I have been having a lot of fun lately experimenting with out-of-the-ordinary and interesting grains. Teff is no exception. It is a tiny, gluten free, whole grain that is native to Ethiopia and very nutritious. Traditionally, it’s ground into a flour and used for Injera, an Ethiopian flatbread, but the grains can also be cooked whole and then used in soups and stews.
In this recipe, instead of using traditional corn for polenta, I used teff cooked in and flavored with broth, dried herbs, butter and Parmesan cheese. It transforms into a more healthful, slightly-nutty tasting polenta.
To top it off, I’ve used one of my new favorite winter vegetables — chard with a lot of onion and garlic. So good! Especially with a little aged Balsamic vinegar and freshly shaved Parmesan cheese for the top.
You can buy Teff at Bob’s Red Mill but if you don’t have any, you could always make this recipe with regular corn polenta.
Note: Because the polenta needs to set up in the fridge, an easy way to approach this dish is to cook the teff the night before you want to serve it. Simply spread it . . . → Read More: Meatless Monday: Teff “Polenta” with Sautéed Chard