Wild Rice with Celery and Dried Cherries:
2 cups wild rice blend, rinsed and drained
5 inner stalks celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small red onion, chopped
1/3 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup dried cherries, roughly chopped
3/4 cup fresh parsley
2 tbsp. minced thyme
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut celery into 1/4-inch pieces and roughly chop the parsley. Reserve 1/4 cup of celery leaves and 1/4 cup of parsley leaves for garnish. Bring 12 cups water to a boil in a 6-quart saucepan. Stir in rice and return to a boil. Cook, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Strain off extra water and return to pan. Cover pan and let rice steam, off the heat, for 10 minutes. Transfer rice to a bowl, fluff with a fork, and set aside.
Wipe saucepan clean and melt butter over medium-high heat. Add chopped celery, garlic, and onion. Cook until golden, 10 to 12 minutes. Add stock and cherries. Simmer until liquid is evaporated, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in rice, the chopped parsley, thyme, salt, and pepper, and transfer to a serving platter. Grate lemon zest over the top. Garnish with celery and parsley leaves.
Whole Grain Salad with Fennel and Arugula
1 1/2 cups rye berries, wheat berries, spelt grains, or farro grains
1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into quarters
1 small bunch arugula, cut into thick ribbons (about 3 cups)
2 tablespoons pitted chopped olives
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese
4 teaspoons juice and 1/2 teaspoon zest from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons whole grain or Dijon mustard
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 375°F. Place grain of choice in a medium saucepan, cover with water by 2 inches, and season heavily with salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender, 30 to 40 minutes. Strain out water. Cover grain with a lid to keep warm.
While grain cooks, toss fennel quarters with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on a small, rimmed baking sheet and roast, turning once, until fennel is tender and golden, about 30 minutes. Remove fennel from oven and let cool slightly. Remove core from each quarter and slice thin.
Transfer grain to a mixing bowl and add fennel, sliced arugula, olives, and cheese. In a separate bowl, combine remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and mustard. Whisk until smooth. Pour over grain mixture and toss gently. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve warm with extra Parmesan cheese.
Baked Barley and Butternut Squash
1 small butternut squash (about 1 and 1/2 pounds)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
5 ounces baby spinach
1/2 cup grated Parmesan (2 ounces), plus more for serving
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
kosher salt and black pepper
Heat oven to 400°F. Peel and seed squash and cut into 1-inch pieces. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven or oven-safe saucepan over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring often, until the onion begins to soften—about 4 to 6 minutes.
Add barley to the vegetables and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the white wine and cook and cook 1 more minute, continuing to stir. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and then transfer to the oven. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, until barley is tender. Stir in the spinach, Parmesan cheese, and butter. Serve with additional Parmesan.
Roasted Veggies and Quinoa
3 medium beets, peeled and cut into wedges
1 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup small fresh cremini or button mushrooms, halved
1 cup quinoa or red quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ounce semisoft goat cheese or reduced-fat feta cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup white-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
2 cups water
Preheat oven to 400°F. Lightly oil a shallow baking dish. Toss beets with a little olive oil. Coat cover, and roast for 25 minutes. Toss zucchini and mushrooms with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add to baking dish and recover. Roast for 10 to 15 minutes more, or until all vegetables are tender. Place baking dish on a wire rack or trivet to cool.
While vegetables bake, combine water, quinoa, and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes or until quinoa is tender. Pour off excess liquid and cool completely.
Combine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, parsley, rosemary, oregano, mustard, and garlic in a sealed jar and shake well. Add the mixture to cooled vegetables and toss to coat. Serve quinoa topped with the roasted vegetables and goat cheese or feta.