Wednesday, August 7, 2013
On the Whole... Grain
I was late to the whole grain party, and it's only in the last couple of years that I've begun to think about grains at all. It's not that I don't like all those healthy for you grains. It's more a matter of sticking with what I know I like. Like rice. White rice.
What can I say? I'm just not all that adventurous about grains.
But I live in the real world, or at least I live in the world where things like bulgar and farro and quinoa, are trendy. Go to any restaurant, and I guarantee that lurking somewhere on their menu is a whole grain something. Hell, those cute little goldfish crackers now come in whole grain. Henceforth, generation of kids will never have the thrill of eating a pizza flavored goldfish cracker because they don't come in whole grain.
So imagine my glee (okay, maybe glee is a strong word here), when I discovered whole grain couscous. Who knew? Well, probably a lot of people already knew, because there it was -- whole grain couscous -- right below the real couscous on the shelf at Trader Joe's.
Being an adventurous person, I picked up a box and set about coming up with a method whereby the whole grainy-ness would be well camouflaged.
Ina Garten's Curried Couscous Salad is chock full of so many yummy ingredients, not to mention a healthy dash of both curry powder (I used hot curry powder), and tumeric, that the couscous was merely the delivery method for everything else. I just substituted the whole grain couscous for the regular couscous and the the result was a really hearty, flavorful side dish.
Recipe: Curried Couscous Salad
(Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, 1999)
1 1/2 cups whole grain couscous
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1/4 cup good olive oil
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup small-diced carrots
1/2 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup dried currants or raisins
1/4 cup blanched, sliced almonds
2 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
1/4 cup small-diced red onion
Place the couscous in a medium bowl. Melt the butter in the boiling water and pour over the couscous. Cover tightly and allow the couscous to soak for 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Whisk together the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt, and pepper. Pour over the fluffed couscous, and mix well with a fork. Add the carrots, parsley, currants, almonds, scallions, and red onions, mix well, and season to taste. Serve at room temperature.