There’s a few areas in my pantry / kitchen cupboards that are way overstocked. For instance, I have 19 bottles of vinegar currently open and in rotation. But, let’s talk about grains, pseudo-grains and legumes for a moment. Right now, I have quinoa, red lentils, green lentils, brown lentils, barley, bulgur wheat, regular couscous, Israeli couscous, jasmine rice, brown rice, arborio rice and dried black-eyed peas – all just lurking around the kitchen, staring at me and begging me to use them. It’s a bit excessive, I realize, but between professional recipe testing and development, blogging, and real-life…it happened.
I need to start using this stuff up, because sometimes I feel like I’m going to drown underneath a mountain of whole grains. I read a post on Big Girls, Small Kitchen about making mixed grain bowls, and I figured if there was a way for me to start using up this huge stash, this was it.
I may have made only the smallest dent in my stash with this grain and lentil salad, but I used quinoa, lentils and barley (as well as some flavorful sun-dried tomatoes and shallots) in this mixed grain salad. The salad can be made using any grains you have on hand. It can be dished up warm or cold, and served with grilled vegetables and hummus. A filling and wholesome vegan/vegetarian meal, perfect for lunch or dinner.
- 1/3 cup pearled barley, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
- 1/3 cup red lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup drained julienne-cut sun-dried tomatoes with Italian herbs in oil, plus 1 tablespoon oil from jar
- 1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
- 1 summer squash or zucchini, halved lengthwise, then halved crosswise
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 1 cup prepared hummus
- Bring a large pot of water to boil over medium-high heat. Add barley; set kitchen timer for 20 minutes. When timer runs out, add quinoa and lentils; cook for 20 minutes longer or until all grains are tender; remove from heat. Drain grains in a fine mesh strainer; return grains to pot (off the heat); cover and let stand 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in large bowl, stir together shallot, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and their oil.
- While grains are cooking, grill vegetables: Preheat grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Lightly spray vegetables with cooking spray; transfer to hot grill rack. Cook 4 to 6 minutes or until all vegetables are tender, turning occasionally; removing each one as it finishes cooking.
- To serve, pour grains into bowl with sun-dried tomato mixture, toss to combine. Spread hummus on serving platter. Spoon grain salad over hummus and arrange grilled vegetables on top.