It’s no secret that I love grains as a base for meals but one of may favorite things is to mix grains. It’s not always the easiest given almost every grain has a different cook time but the method below is perfect. I cook the sorghum by itself then add the millet and quinoa. The sorghum adds a nice chewy texture while the millet and quinoa add more heft. This grain pilaf with the roasted asparagus should go on your next picnic menu (or even a work-lunch menu). Or if you’re like me, you can just make it for a light dinner!
Three Grain Pilaf with Roasted Asparagus
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup millet
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup sorghum
- 1 lb asparagus
- 1 medium shallot
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup crumbed feta
- 1/4 cup minced flat-leaf Parsley
- 1/4 cup hemp seeds
Black Pepper Dressing
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey or vegan alternative
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- In a pot, bring water and vegetable broth to a boil with a pinch of salt and olive oil. Stir in sorghum, reduce heat to low, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes. Stir in quinoa and millet, cover, and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, until water has been mostly absorbed. Test the grains and if they are still chewy, add ¼ cup of water and cook for another 1-2 minutes repeating until the grains are almost tender and still a bit of moisture left in the pot.
- Remove from heat and allow to rest, covered, for 10 minutes.
- While the grains cook, preheat oven to 400˚. Trim ends from the asparagus and cut into 1/2" pieces. I prefer to use thinner asparagus for this, but thick asparagus will work as well. Cut the shallots into thin slices and place the asparagus and shallots in a roasting pan. Toss with olive oil and salt. Roast for 20 minutes or so, until the asparagus is cooked and starting to char.
- Once grains and asparagus are done, toss the 2 to 3 cups of the cooked grains with the asparagus, feta, parsley, and hemp seeds. Whisk together the dressing ingredients, pour over the grain mixture and toss until well combined. Toss and add more salt as desired. Save leftover grains for use in anotehr salad or grain bowl.
by Erin Alderson
I think what I love most about these types of a grain pilaf is that anything can be changed. The asparagus in this is delicious but the grain mixture could be used in any season. If you already had a bit of dressing made that was your favorite, you could use that in place of the black pepper mixture and more fresh herbs are always good.
Vegetables: This grain mixture will really work with any produce. A fava or pea mixture would work in spring, tomatoes/squash in summer, or roasted squash in the fall.
Vegan: Leave out the feta and use your favorite vegan sweetener in place of the honey.
Nuts/Seeds: If you don’t want to buy hemp seeds; sunflower seeds or sliced almonds would be a nice, crunchy addition.
Asparagus is one of the items that I don’t really eat out of season. The thin, fresh stalks are no match. And so, I eat a lot of asparagus during the spring months. It’s an easy grilled side dish, the perfect roasting companion, and of course, makes the perfect asparagus stir-fry.