I have dozens of cookbooks and an entire binder full of recipe clippings that I have been collecting for over 10 years. There are recipes that I are very obviously not going to grace my table, but I love to read anyway. Then there are recipes that I would love to make, but for some reason have never made it to my table. In an effort to cook more of those elusive recipes, I am going to share one a month. A good reason to cook something I might otherwise not try.
This month's recipe is a simple one, sometimes I skip over recipes because they seem too pedestrian - usually salads- because who really needs a recipe for salad? Just toss some ingredients together and there you have it. But I needed something delicious and picnic-friendly to take to a movie in the park. Plus this has a short ingredient list and can be eaten room temperature.
You can choose whatever grain you have available for this recipe: quinoa, wild rice, barley, and couscous would all be great. You can serve this immediately or let it marinate. I've roasted the tomatoes, but during peak tomato season I would skip that step and put in fresh tomatoes.
MEDITERRANEAN GRAIN SALAD WITH ROASTED TOMATOES AND SOURDOUGH CROUTONS
- 1/2 cup wheat berries (about 1 cup cooked grains)
- 4 slices sourdough bread
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra to brush bread & tomatoes
- 4 ripe medium tomatoes
- 3 small cucumbers
- 1/4 red onion, sliced very thin
- 4 tbsp chopped cilantro
- 1.5 tbsp chopped mint
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 small or 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- salt & black pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook grain according to package, drain, and set aside to dry and cool.
Slice tomatoes into quarters and squeeze out extra liquid and seeds. Place on baking sheet with a brush of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Put in oven for 1 hour or until their color deepens and they begin to caramelize. Remove from oven and let cool.
Brush bread with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Place oiled bread on baking sheet and toast in oven for 10 minutes or until bread is dry and crisp. Set aside to cool.
While grains and tomatoes are cooking, chop cucumbers into bite-size pieces and place in mixing bowl. Add sliced onion, herbs, & garlic. Add grains and tomatoes. Break bread into bite-size pieces and add.
Whisk the olive oil, lemon juice & vinegar together with a little salt & pepper and toss with salad.
Recipe adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi