Going with the grain
This article was originally published in July 2014
Grain- and pasta-based salads are perfect for potlucks and other summer gatherings as they hold up to heat and marry well with seasonal fruits and veggies. Explore our bulk department for a variety of grains and pasta options, including the following three, which are hearty, versatile and easy to prepare.
The foundation for tabouli, bulgur is cracked whole wheat that’s parboiled as part of the drying and milling process. As a result, this grain is easy-peasy to prepare; in fact, it requires no cooking at all. Plus its earthy, nutty flavor is a great match for the sweet produce of summer.
To cook: Combine one part bulgur with 1 1/2 parts boiling water and let it sit for 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and fluff with a fork.
Recipe to try: Blueberry Bulgur Salad >>
Larger than traditional French couscous, this pearl-like pasta has been toasted, whereas most pastas are dried, which gives it a distinctive, nutty flavor. It’s similar to orzo, although its texture is satisfyingly chewier and more grain-like.
To cook: Add one part Israeli couscous to 1 1/4 cups boiling liquid. Cover pot, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Recipe to try: Israeli Couscous Salad with Grapes >>
A combination of pearl quinoa, red quinoa and black quinoa, this medley is bright and festive, fluffy with a bit of crunch. A complete protein, quinoa has a nutty flavor and is a great gluten-free alternative, as it’s actually a seed.
To cook: Rinse the quinoa thoroughly and drain. (Quinoa has a natural bitter coating that dissolves when rinsed.) Add one part quinoa to two parts water or broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and let simmer until the liquid has evaporated, 10 to 15 minutes. Let stand 5 to 10 minutes, then fluff with a fork.
Recipe to try: Quinoa Salad with Peaches and Pickled Onions >>