We got our first CSA box this week. The yield so far is manageable, but on Wednesday night, after the pickup, our fridge went from a vessel of condiments and leftover meatballs to a box filled with chard, kale, Chinese broccoli, arugula, and much, much more. It took about an hour to wash, prep, and store the whole yield. Work–but good work.
After that, there was a bit of prioritizing, weighing what I wanted to eat first with what would wilt and grow slimy if we didn’t cook it in twenty-four hours. Radish greens topped that list. Have you ever watched radish greens wilt in the fridge?
The onslaught of vegetables is going to change our cooking this summer, no doubt about it. I can’t wait to document it here! My first foray has confirmed what I suspected about our diet this season, though. We’re going to be eating a lot of bowl meals. All these fresh greens seem to beg for a simple preparation, a sauté, perhaps with herbs, set over a bowl of grains.
So before it’s too late, I wanted to share a base for bowl meals that’s not simply rice or quinoa but a mix of grains.
To make this combo, I set a pot of water to boil as if I were cooking spaghetti, and then pour in whichever grains, timing the cooking so that no one grain gets overcooked. I love the versatility of the method, because it accounts for the different cooking times of each element. The resulting dish also makes the lesser-loved grains, like millet, more palatable.
The pilaf-like dish cooks up in less than half an hour, and is completely customizable to your tastes or the contents of your pantry. In the past, I’ve included short-grain brown rice, barley, and Israeli couscous in this mix. (You can use up any lingering quarter cup’s worth of grains from the bulk bin.) The final touch, in any event, is to mix in a ton of wilted, sweet scallions for richness.
Mixed Grains Bowl with Scallions and Sautéed Radishes
The grains make a bunch; I’ve given a recipe for making one bowl of vegetables…you can use the rest of the grains at your convenience.
You’ll want to wash the radish greens really well. Place them in a big mixing bowl and fill it with water. Agitate the greens a little, then let them rest so any grit can settle. Lift the greens out of the water and set aside. Empty the bowl and repeat this at least once more, or until no more grit comes off. Then shake off the water in a colander.
For the grains:
1/4 cup millet
3/4 cup white basmati rice
3/4 cup quinoa
For the vegetables:
8 scallions, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch lengths (you can use basically the whole scallion, white and light green parts)
3 radishes, trimmed and sliced
greens from one bunch of radishes
Bring a medium pot of water to boil over high heat. Add 1 tablespoon salt and the millet. Set the timer for 7 minutes. Meanwhile, wash the rice in a few changes of water until it runs clear. When the timer pings, add the basmati rice and the quinoa and cook for 14 minutes. Drain in a fine metal sieve, then return the grains to the pot off the heat and cover for 5 to 10 minutes–this makes the grains fluffy and delicious.
While the grains are cooking, make the vegetables. Heat about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the scallions and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes, until they are wilted and sweet. Sprinkle with salt. Transfer to a small bowl. Add a little more olive oil, raise the heat to medium-high, and add the radish greens. Cook about 5 minutes, until the greens are wilted. Sprinkle with salt and add the sliced radishes. Cook 2 more minutes, just til the radishes are cooked through. Take off the heat.
Add 1 very heaping cup of grains to the bowl with the scallions. Toss together. Top with the radishes and their greens. Eat immediately, or pack for lunch and eat at room temperature.