How to cook any type of grain

 barley salad

The number of grains that available to cooks today is staggering. You can find everything from quinoa to farro to barley in almost any supermarket, and it’s easier than ever to come by lesser known items like amaranth or millet. Along with this great variety of options comes a confusing array of cooking times and liquid volume. Indexed magazine Bon Appétit cuts through the clutter with their own tried-and-true method for cooking any grain.  

Follow these simple rules, says Christina Chaey, and you’ll have perfectly al dente, fluffy grains every time. First, toast the grains lightly to intensify their flavor. While they toasting, bring a generous amount of salted water to a boil. Using a large amount of liquid will allow the grains to shed excess starch, which is key to eliminating any gumminess. Toss in aromatics like onions and garlic along with woody herbs like thyme; the grains will soak up flavors from anything you add to the water. Once you add the grain of your choice, taste test until the grains is done to your liking. 

Drain the grains using a mesh strainer, then spread them out on a baking sheet or large platter. Refrigerate the grains, uncovered, until cool. This step allows any extra liquid to evaporate, leading to a drier, fluffier end product. Making sure the surface of the grain dries properly does not only make the texture more pleasant for eating, it also allows the grains to take on sauces better

Photo of Herby barley salad with butter-basted mushrooms from Bon Appétit Magazine

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  • Rinshin  on  February 1, 2018

    Good info. Thanks.

  • bettinab  on  February 2, 2018

    I love that!
    It is details like that which make a real difference the food we cook
    Thank you

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