Friday, August 17, 2007

Final Product - Harvest Grains Salad

A few posts ago I wanted suggestions with what to do with my Harvest Grains blend from Trader Joe's. I got an overwhelming response of one, count it - one, comment regarding how I could add it to a soup. When the weather cools to soup weather, I will try throwing some of it in a soup for certain. Given, however, that it isnt soup weather in Lafayette and this grad student is too cheap to keep her apartment below 82 degrees, I made an almost-no-cook-salad. Its actually what I have been eating for lunch all week. Sadly, I am now out of it. The concoction I created was really very flavorful and refreshing if I dont say so myself. Even K liked it, but thats not really a surprise.

I had purchased a bunch of veggies for the week and I threw them into the salad, so really this can and should be amended to include whatever fresh ingredients you happen to have on hand. As much as I don't like the food that Rachel Ray cooks on her show, I do appreciate that she teaches her audience a method which can later be used on other foods. This recipe is somewhat similar in that you can take the general principle and whip up your own version. This particular version turned into something with the Mediterranean flavors or artichoke, lemon, and green olives.

Almost-No-Cook Harvest Grains Salad

1 1/4 cup Harvest Grains (or Israeli Couscous)
1 3/4 chicken broth
1/2 bundle of asparagus - steamed and cut into 1 inch pieces
5 roasted artichoke hearts - halved and sliced
Handful of green olives - cut from the pit
4 scallions sliced (just the light green part)
1/3 cup flat leaf parsley chopped
zest from 1 lemon
1 garlic glove
2 tablespoons (or so) olive oil

Bring the chicken broth to a boil and add the harvest grains and the clove of garlic. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 10-12 minutes or until most of the liquid is gone. Remove from heat, add a bit of olive oil to coat the grains just so they don't stick while it cools. Remove the garlic clove. When the grains are cool enough to not wilt the rest of the ingredients, add them to the rest of the ingredients.

The harvest grains themselves makes about 3 cups worth so after adding the veggies you actually have a substantial amount of salad. Like I said, it lasted me three lunches.

My favorite thing about the Harvest Grains mix is that the combination of "grains" make it look super pretty and fairly complicated. In essence, it looks snooty even though this should be one of my Easy-Peasy meals. Again, its all about appearances and reality. In anthropology we call it mystification. It used to be that anthropologists would try and make what they did seem super important and very impressive by hiding the simplicity of it all behind scientific jargon that the popular masses knew nothing about. These days, however, anthropology is leaning away from using science to confusticate readers and is instead employing the mumbo-jumbo of post-modern theory. Unlike the mystification that occurs in the social sciences, I do not feel that it is detrimental to society to make my food seem more impressive than it really is.


briteyes said...

That salad looks terrific--I've been trying to find a salad to bring to a church potluck, and I think this might be it!

Sorry to have missed your original post; I've made the harvest grains a few times now, mostly when entertaining vegan friends (who've all raved about it). I've cooked the grains with leek broth & olive oil, sliced seitan, and about 1/3 package of frozen edamame. Once cooked, I mix in diced mango, chopped cilantro, and the zest of 1 orange. Salt & pepper to taste, and serve with sliced orange on top. It makes a good summer dish.

Beth said...

I LOVE your blog. It has such a pretty CSS style, and of course I love the content: food! Can't wait to use this recipe as inspiration, as there is a bag of TJ's Harvest Grains in my cupboard right now. Thanks for sharing! said...

As I am not in the States, I can't pick up the Harvest Grains from TJ's until my next trip to SFrancisco but this looks like a great combination! I love making a grain salad with brie cheese, spinach, lemon and pine nuts or walnuts. Fabulous! Let the spinach wilt in the last few minutes, add the cheese at the end, let melt a bit and then cool before eating. Or you could try a Japanese version with edamame, yuzu kosho (citrus and hot pepper blend), tamari, and sesame seeds. So good!

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