Category Archives: Grains

Quinoa Salad with Arugula, Radishes, and Corn

There are no new recipes under the sun, or something like that.  I love the flavor combination featured in this salad enough that I’ve featured a similar recipe before.  But this variation is even simpler because instead of making that creamy oil-free dressing (which is, by the way, well worth making), you just squeeze a lime into the salad with a pinch of salt for clean, bright, summertime flavor.This recipe is also worth revisiting at this time of year because it’s a great way to use up any odds and ends from your CSA or exuberant vegetable shopping.  Do you have a clean-out-the-fridge day of the week?  It’s Saturday around here, both because there’s time to cook and because I need to make room for the next CSA box in the fridge. Continue reading

Quinoa Salad with Radishes, Peas, Arugula, and Cilantro-Sweet Corn Dressing

Today is one of those nice days where a lot of people I love are together under one roof.  My in-laws are visiting, and my brother and his wife are passing through town with our favorite nephew (also, yes, only nephew).  I got to putter around in the garden for a while, sneaking up on weeds and picking ingredients for this salad while my mother-in-law, who is an amazing cook, made the rest of the meal.

I know I once said I couldn’t tolerate a one-color meal, but it turns out that maybe I can if the color is springtime green.  I wish that I had taken a picture of it all together, but you will just have to imagine how lovely the table looked with this salad alongside a bright green pea-and-basil soup and followed by an equally brilliant avocado mousse.  So green!

The top left picture below is the creamy cilantro and sweet corn dressing that I used for the salad.  It’s just corn, cilantro, lime, and salt, but it has such a creamy texture and bright, sweet flavor that I’m already thinking about how else I’m going to use it this summer.  Suggestions, as always, are warmly welcomed–you guys have such good ideas, thank you for sharing them!

Continue reading Quinoa Salad with Radishes, Peas, Arugula, and Cilantro-Sweet Corn Dressing (click for recipe)

Whole Wheat Yogurt Sandwich Bread, or, Why We Still Have a Breadmaker

There was a period in my life when I had three or four breadmakers.  All used, of course, as a breadmaker is the sort of appliance that seems to wander around in search of a home.  You probably know a couple people trying to give away bread machines they got for their wedding 15 years ago and never used, and they’re always on Craig’s List for $5, and they carom around on Freecycle like nobody’s business.

So anyway, a few years ago I somehow came into possession of a breadmaker.  I hadn’t used one in years.  I used it once or twice with, you know, breadmaker-type results, and then it broke.  Suddenly I keenly felt its absence.  I couldn’t find the same model so I got a different one, and then I did find the same model so I got that too, and maybe I even got a third before I came to my senses, discarded the broken one, and gave the surplus breadmakers away.  Phew.

I will say this for my breadmaker: it makes a reliable whole wheat sandwich bread when we run out of the store-bought stuff.  And what else do I want it for, really?  I usually buy 100% whole grain sandwich bread because I have not found a 100% whole wheat recipe that works in my breadmaker.  (Do you have one?  Please, please share!)  This recipe, straight from the Breadman manual, has been my go-to breadmaker loaf for years.  It is moist with a sturdy crumb and a nice crust and it slices just right for sandwiches.  You can get it going the night before and have a hot loaf waiting in the morning.  It’s worth keeping a breadmaker around for (but just one).

Continue Reading Whole Wheat Yogurt Sandwich Bread (click for recipe)

Risotto-Stuffed Chard Leaves

I haven’t been to Nice in years, but I’ve been dreaming about a visit ever since I read this article by Mark Bittman in 2008 about a vegetarian restaurant called La Zucca Magica.  (I’ll just wait here for a minute while you go enjoy Google’s translation of that webpage.)  Some people dream of lounging on the Riviera, I dream of magic squash and vegetarian fine dining, what can I say?

As you might imagine, I promptly cooked my way through the recipes featured along with Mr. Bittman’s column, and this dish was born of one of them.  It’s been a regular feature at our table ever since, and when I make risotto I always hope for leftovers to roll up in chard leaves later in the week.  (Of course you can follow the original recipe and make a risotto just for this dish–the lemony risotto in the recipe is quite nice–but that’s a bit ambitious for me these days.)  The Leek and Green Garlic Risotto from the other night was perfect.

There’s also a buried treasure in there: a gooey, rich strand of mozzarella cheese that reveals itself as you dig into each austere-looking package.  You could omit this if you’re using a risotto that’s already as decadent as the Leek and Green Garlic Risotto–but why?

Continue reading Risotto-Stuffed Chard Leaves (click for recipe)

Leek and Green Garlic Risotto

With the benefit of hindsight, I can confidently tell you that this is not really the kind of dish that you whip up quickly on a weeknight. In fact, if you don’t turn your attention to dinner until eight p.m., you may be eating close to ten, which is fine if you’re in Madrid but rather late in our household.

Plan this meal for a weekend, then, after you’ve been to the farmers market in the morning and loaded up on springy leeks and green garlic. This risotto is rich and delicate at once, and perfect on its own, but by ten o’clock we were so hungry that we felt the need to gild the lily with a fried egg. You know how I like to do that.

Why did a simple risotto take me so long, you might ask? Well, the only kind of broth I like better than my frozen homemade broth is one custom-made on the spot, extracting every last drop of flavor from the trimmings of the vegetables to be used in the dish. Tonight I started by making a simple stock with the leek tops, garlic tops, and parsley stems that weren’t going into the risotto. I added a bay leaf, a few sprigs of thyme, 2 scant tsp. kosher salt, and covered it all with 2 qts. water. It simmered on the back burner while I chopped my vegetables, then I strained it straight from the stock pot into my risotto as it cooked. So that took a few extra minutes.

And then there was the chopping of three enormous leeks and seven little heads of green garlic (the kind where the cloves haven’t formed yet and you just peel off one papery outer layer). And the stopping to inhale their lovely fragrance. And I put the baby back to bed a few times in the middle. So, you know. You’ll be much faster than me. Because once your stock is made and your alliums are chopped, making this risotto is a breeze.

Continue reading Leek and Green Garlic Risotto (click for recipe)

Roll-Your-Own Vegetarian Brown Rice Sushi

Welcome the Virtual Vegan Potluck!  I’m happy to be joining so many other cooks today in serving up a bountiful vegan feast.  Warm thanks to An Unrefined Vegan for planning our party.  At the bottom of this post you will find links to take you forward and backward through the offerings, or you can start at the beginning and see all your choices right here.

If this is your first time visiting emmycooks, welcome!  Pull up a chair, or do as I do and haul your computer into the kitchen and perch it up out of harm’s way as you cook along.  You can browse the recipes via the sidebar links, or visit some of my recent favorites right here.  If you like what you see, you can subscribe via RSS or follow emmycooks on FaceBook or Twitter.

If you’ve been here before, you won’t be surprised to find that this recipe is full of shortcuts to make it easy to cook a dish that might seem daunting at first.  For starters, this is unabashedly a cheater’s sushi rice: you just cook a pot of short-grain brown rice and stir in rice vinegar, sugar and salt.  It isn’t the rice that sushi masters spend years perfecting, but it tastes great and suits our needs nicely.  Second, don’t worry for a moment about how to roll your sushi.  You’re not going to impress anyone here–you’re just going to pile nori, rice, and assorted toppings on the table and let your dining companions impress you instead.  J & I used to throw parties where we’d roll and slice a gajillion sushi rolls–so much work!  And then we were guests in a home in Japan where everyone selected their own fillings and rolled their own sushi at the table.  We’ve never looked back, and neither will you. Continue reading Vegetarian Brown Rice Sushi (click for recipe)

Jeweled Rice with Golden Raisins, and Hey, What Cooking Magazines Do You Love?

What cooking magazines do you recommend? I loved Gourmet and miss it every time I get the Bon Appetit that comes now instead.  I also get Everyday Food, the source of today’s recipe.  And I received the Canal House series as a gift this year and can’t wait for the next one.  But my all-time favorite cooking magazine comes from New Zealand: Cuisine.  It’s beautiful and glossy and equal parts fussy and laid-back, with delicious recipes and cute names for vegetables (Swiss chard is called silverbeet, and zucchini are courgettes).

But more, I want more!  Or, more precisely, I just want to know if there’s something great out there that I’m missing.  I like good food, reliable recipes, smart writing.  Any tips for me?  I’ve gotten so much good advice from you people lately that I just thought I should ask.

I made this rice to accompany Indian food that our neighbors lovingly brought home from Vij’s in Vancouver (eat there if you ever get a chance).  I think a sweet-and-savory combo is just the thing with spicy food, and it was quick and easy to make–although now that I’ve read this I may pop it in the oven to finish cooking next time.  It would also be great made with brown rice. Continue reading Jeweled Rice with Golden Raisins (click for recipe)