I just talked about Emeril Lagasse's new book and how much I like its fresh comfort food style. This recipe is a great example of one of the dishes in the book; it's vegan and whole grain, with wild rice, amaranth, quinoa, and more. And it also looks so bright, juicy, and delicious, with fennel, orange juice, and radish. What a perfect salad for summer picnics!
There are numerous health benefits to eating whole grains, they are low in fat, high in fiber and are one of nature’s superfoods. They have a long culinary history; amaranth and quinoa are American heritage grains eaten by the Aztecs and Incas respectively. Today these grains are widely cultivated and prized in the kitchen not only for their nutritional value, but also for their flavor and versatility.
2 cups cooked wild rice (see cooking directions below)* 1 cup cooked amaranth (see cooking directions below)* 1 cup cooked quinoa (see cooking directions below)* 1 cup cooked millet (see cooking directions below)* 1 cup cooked brown jasmati rice, basmati, or brown jasmine, (cooked according to package directions) 1 teaspoon orange zest 1 cup fresh orange segments 1 cup small diced fennel 1/2 cup small diced radish 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/4 cup orange juice 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1 tablespoon chopped fennel fronds 1 teaspoon fresh dill 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients. Refrigerate, covered, for at least one hour before serving. Remove from the refrigerator and serve at room temperature.
Yield: 6 cups (about 6 servings)
COOKING DIRECTIONS FOR HERITAGE GRAINS
1 cup amaranth seeds 1/2 cup millet 1/2 cup quinoa 1/2 cup wild rice Sea salt and pepper 3 cups vegetable stock 1 tablespoon butter
To make the amaranth:
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, toast the amaranth for 4 to 5 minutes or until it begins to pop. In a separate saucepan bring 1 cup vegetable stock to a boil. Add the amaranth and a pinch of salt, cover, lower the heat, and simmer for 7 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let steam covered for another 7 minutes. Pour the amaranth into a medium size serving bowl and use as desired. (Yield: 1 1/2 cups)
To make the millet:
In a small saucepan over medium high heat, toast the millet for 4 to 5 minutes or until the millet has a nutty smell. Remove from the heat as soon as the first grain begins to pop. Pour the millet into a bowl and wash in cold water. Rinse the millet in a fine mesh sieve for another minute or until the water runs clear.
In a medium saucepan over high heat, bring 1 cup of vegetable stock to a boil. Add the millet and seasonings and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until all of the liquid has absorbed. Remove from heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff millet with a fork and use as desired. (Yield: 2 cups)
To make the quinoa:
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup vegetable stock, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the quinoa, cover, and lower the temperature to a simmer. Cook the quinoa for 12 minutes or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered for 5 minutes. Fluff the quinoa and use as desired.
To make the wild rice:
In a medium saucepan, combine rice, 1 1/2 cups water, butter and salt and bring to a boil. Stir and cover; reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 50 to 55 minutes. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes covered. Fluff with a fork and adjust seasoning if necessary. Use as desired.