I think I might have a starch addiction. I am drawn to anything that provides that hearty, hulky texture. Pasta, rice, potatoes, grains. All these top my "I'll eat these anywhere, anytime" list. Since I tend to consume all of the previously mentioned starchy delights a lot, I am always searching for different flavor combos to add to my repertoire. I am not a huge fan of savory foods being too sweet, but I do enjoy countering tangy, sour, spicy flavors with cooling herbs and hints of sweet notes. That's why this recipe, mixing grains of varied flavors and textures with herbs and other 'condiments', hits the bull's eye, satisfying those goals. Another great plus to this combo is that these grains pack a powerful protein punch. Flavor, nutrients, festive looking... What more can you ask of your food?
When I first made this dish I was still eating wheat, so couscous was one of the 'grains' I used. If you are not gluten free then go ahead, stir it in. For those who are gluten free, just eliminate the couscous as I do now. You can add another grain or replace it by doubling up on one of the others already being used. I used another 3/4 c of quinoa as a replacement.
1 c uncooked Kasha (Buckwheat)
1 c uncooked Quinoa
1 c uncooked Couscous (eliminate to be gluten free)
1 c uncooked Millet
1/4 c chives, chopped
1/2 c chopped parsley
1/4 c mint, chopped
3/4 c dried apricots, diced
3/4 c Medjool dates, diced
1/2 c red onion, diced
1 c scallion, sliced
1/2 c almond slivers
(orange wedges would add lovely fresh component as an option)
1/2 c lemon juice
1 T lemon zest
1/2 t red pepper flakes
1.5 t salt
3/4 c olive oil
Cook each of the grains separately, according to the package.
While those are cooking, chop and prep all the remaining ingredients and have ready to mix together.
Once the grains are done, drain and mix them together, adding the dressing before all the other ingredients.
Then add in all the remaining ingredients and toss until well combined.
This dish can be served slightly warm, room temp or even chilled. Since it has a nod to Moroccan flavors it will pair with lamb or chicken dishes quite well. I ate mine with ripe heirloom tomatoes and French feta cheese. The rest of our gang enjoyed it with roasted chicken.
You may have noticed that my LOVE in the background of some my shots has grown. Indeed, it has. There are moments in my life that continue to remind me of the many blessings bestowed on me. Friends are at the top of my list. One of my best friends extended her love by sending me some of hers in the form of that huge swirl of emotion. Thank you Dominique for sharing this with me and for your eternal friendship, support and of course, Love. My heart grew 3 sizes that day!