Whole grains. To many of us the term sounds as thrilling as "homework" or "dentist appointment" or "oh my God, it's almost April and I still haven't done my taxes yet." We know we should eat more whole grains, but why can't they taste more like french fries?
My friends, I am here to give you the good news, because they can. In Ann Taylor Pittman's new cookbook, Everyday Whole Grains, she reveals the golden path to liking this good-for-you food. You can deep-fry millet and other grains, and they'll still be good for you. Mind blown, right? Me too! Here's a recipe for a crispy millet salad that won't make you feel like you're doing your taxes.
From Everyday Whole Grains
Perfect for a light spring meal, this warm salad features two of the season’s loveliest vegetables. If you’ve never tried roasted radishes, you’re in for a treat: Roasting makes them sweeter with a juicy texture. Instead of the fried millet, you can use any fried grain you like; I just prefer a small one like millet, quinoa or bulgur.
Hands-on time: 8 minutes | Total time: 23 minutes
This is my favorite discovery, my favorite technique in this book — and you’ll see it used in several of the recipes. Yes, as the recipe title indicates, I am deep-frying whole grains. Why? First off, don’t worry. If you keep the oil temperature as hot as specified, the grains don’t absorb much oil: This does not take whole grains into unhealthy territory. More importantly, frying turns whole grains into the crunchiest, most wildly delicious little nuggets with amazing recipe versatility. They’re great on creamy soups, in salads, on casseroles and as breading. They’re also a great substitute for nuts — good for folks with allergies.
Fried grains keep beautifully: up to a week in an airtight container at room temperature, or for three to four months in the freezer. I now always keep at least two types on hand (in the freezer) — one finer/smaller grain like quinoa, and a larger one like farro — and I’ll sprinkle a little over yogurt, stir some into ice cream, top my mac and cheese with it and use it anywhere else where I yearn for some crunch. The technique works best with quinoa, barley, farro, spelt, millet and brown rice, and the frying time is the same for all.
Makes about 3 cups
Hands-on time: 30 minutes | Total time: 2 hours 40 minutes
Calories, 270; fat, 19.2 grams (sat, 3.3 grams; mono, 11.4 grams; poly, 3.8 grams); protein, 11 grams; carbs, 15 grams; fiber, 4 grams; sugars, 3 grams (est. added sugars, 0 grams); cholesterol, 186 milligrams; iron, 4 milligrams; sodium, 378 milligrams; calcium, 67 milligrams
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