BaltimOregon to Maine

Locavore Cooking with Southern Efficiency and Northern Charm

Posts Tagged ‘whole grains

Lovely Local Lamb and Figs

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Getting intimate with the rack.Getting intimate with the rack.

Dan’s uncle and aunt, our yenta (not in the busybody sense), came all the way from New York to visit, so I wanted to make a special meal.

Eggplant Parmesan? Fresh fish? But then I stumbled upon new Bon Appetit recipe for Lamb Chops with Fresh Herbs and Roasted Figs. That’s what I would make. But calling these lamb chops is a bit misleading. It’s rack of lamb cut into chops. Not the most recession-friendly recipe. But luckily I found an affordable local source of lamb just down the road. I even biked to their store to procure it. Nice rack. Had to crack a little joke as I took the 3-lbs. of meat (and mostly rib bones) from the freezer.

Blushing beauties: Kadota figs.

Blushing beauties: Kadota figs.

The hardest part of the recipe was timing the cooking of the lamb right and carving the chops. All you do is rub the rack with herbs and garlic, add some salt and pepper, brown, roast then roast the succulent halved Kadota figs in the lamb fat. I especially love such plain-looking green figs with their resplendent blush interiors. In Siddhartha, when Herman Hesse compares “her mouth to a fig split in two“: that’s a description that’s stayed with me. Don’t you just love Google Books?

To whet our appetites, we noshed on local cheeses (including the end of an addictive Rogue Creamery Rosemary Cheddar) with hazelnut sourdough bread from the farmers’ market. They sampled my pickles; the kosher dills were a hit, maybe even better than Ben’s? What better compliment could a girl get. The asparagus and okra pickles didn’t go over as well.

Rounding out the meal was Julia’s always reliable, amenable whole grain salad. I threw blanched green beans from our garden and roasted local Italian peppers into it. I recommend making it with Trader Joe’s Harvest Grains Blend (Israeli couscous, orzo, split garbanzo beans and red quinoa). I think that’s the Trader Joe’s item I most miss. I always pick some up when I’m in Portland. It’s supposed to be coming to Corvallis. Of course, they’ll probably discontinue carrying this product by then.

The meal.

The meal.

Julia's whole grains.

Julia's whole grains.

Written by baltimoregon

September 10, 2009 at 9:17 am

Getting Into Those Whole Grains

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Three Grain Salad Primavera with Lemon Vinaigrette

Three Grain Salad Primavera with Lemon Vinaigrette

This is a hearty, nutty, soul-satisfying salad from my sister-in-law, Julia. She picked it up while attending a holistic culinary school in San Francisco. The best part: you can use up those remainders of random grains stashed in the back of the cupboard. I used soft white wheatberries from Stalford Farm here in Oregon (the same source of my locally-grown chickpeas), black wild rice and an Israeli couscous/quinoa blend. This is a recipe that’s hard to screw up, thankfully. I also didn’t have flax seed oil so just doubled the olive oil in the dressing. Dan threw in some grape tomatoes (which he purchased against my will. I’m trying to abstain from eating tomatoes outside the local season. Winter tomatoes or those from Mexico just don’t compare.)

Here’s the recipe for you to enjoy (feel free to half the portion, but it keeps well in the fridge for the week):

Three Grain Salad Primavera with Lemon Vinaigrette
(serves 16)

Grain salad options (you will need 1 cup of three of these grains):
spelt
quinoa
wheatberries
wild rice
bulglur
barley
Israeli couscous
Choose three of these or other favorite grains — you will want to end up with 7 cups
cooked product total

Vegetables for salad:
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/2 orange pepper, chopped (NOTE- i used 3 whole peppers- just eyeball it)
1/2 pound green beans or snow peas, slivered
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
1/2 bunch italian parsley, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh mint, finely chopped

Dressing ingredients:
1/2 cup lemon juice
4 teasponns dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup other vegetable oil like flax seed oil or safflower
2 tbsp warm water
2 teaspoons lemon zest, finely chopped

Choose three grains and cook 1 cup of each separately. Set them aside to cool while
preparing the vegetables and the dressing.  As the vegetables and herb s are chopped, put
them into a large mixing bowl.

Combine all of the dressing ingredients except water and lemon zest, and whisk together
or put in a blender or small food processor.  Cover and blend.  Add warm water and blend
until smooth while the machine is running.  Taste, adjust as needed, and then add the
lemon zest.  (Dressing will keep in fridge for up to 2 weeks).

Measure out 7 cups of the combination of cooled grains.  Add to the vegetables in the
mixing bowl and toss to combine.  Add 1/2 cup of the dressing and toss to coat the grains
and vegetables lightly.  Taste and adjust if more dressing is needed.  Serve chilled or
at room temperature.

Written by baltimoregon

January 23, 2009 at 12:50 am

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