WHOLE GRAINS going with the grain
apples on a bed of chopped kale. It is topped with a goat cheese/feta
blend, tart dried cherries and a blend of roasted nuts (walnuts, almonds,
pecans). A light balsamic vinaigrette completes the dish.
California Pizza Kitchen offers customers a quinoa and arugula
salad with asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, red onions, toasted pine nuts
and feta tossed in housemade champagne vinaigrette. For the home
cook, Ventura Foods, Brea, California, has a recipe for a farro salad
on the back of its Marie’s roasted tomato/Parmesan/basil vinaigrette
A WORTHY ADDITION
Farro is becoming more and more popular in salads. Actually a term used for three
grains—einkorn, emmer and spelt—it makes a worthy addition.
Sam Smith, executive chef/partner at Tusk, combines farro, barley or soft red or green
wheat with two vegetables. For the vegetables, he chooses among fava beans, radishes,
celery, English peas, chunks of beets roasted with zinfandel vinegar/olive oil, or cubes of
sauteed porcini mushrooms. He adds some herbs, such as mint or tarragon, chevre, feta
or brebis cheese, and chopped pistachios, walnuts or hazelnuts. He dresses the salad with
olive oil, wine or honey vinegar, a drizzle of nut oil and a sprinkle of nuts.
Smith has been making grains salads for more than a decade. He likes them for the
texture, nutrition and sweet/nutty/earthy flavor they add to a salad. He chooses grains
based on what is available locally. “Grains are a great base for just about any vegetable,”
he says. His favorite additional ingredients are nuts, especially pistachios and almonds,
and sometimes, dried fruits. He rarely uses greens in salads made from grains. “Grains
are good with fresh chevre or fromage blanc on top,” he says.
Quinoa—which Sluyter says “came out of nowhere”—is more well-known and
widely used than other grains.
“Quinoa has been included in some of our salads since we opened in October 2015,”
says Cesar Velazquez, managing partner of The Big Ketch Saltwater Grill. The former
executive chef with Southern Proper Hospitality Group, Atlanta, which owns The Big
At The Big Ketch, the Asian Quinoa Superfood Bowl is a blend of red and white quinoa,
shredded yellow beets, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and kale tossed in housemade
sweet Asian vinaigrette. The Mediterranean Quinoa Bowl combines quinoa with shaved
lettuce, cucumbers, feta, Kalamata olives, tomatoes and Meyer lemon vinaigrette.