Grains have been a symbol of the autumn harvest for centuries, although modern-day cooks have only recently begun to reintroduce themselves to some of the now lesser-known ancient varieties. A wide array of hearty grains—amaranth, quinoa, millet, barley, cornmeal and bulgur—is available in health-food stores. Here, several are combined in an appealing fall pilaf.
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 Tbs. canola or vegetable oil
3/4 cup basmati rice
1/4 cup amaranth
1/4 cup quinoa
1/4 cup millet
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3/4 tsp. salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup water
In a fry pan over medium heat, toast the pine nuts, stirring constantly, until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the rice, amaranth, quinoa and millet and stir until the grains are coated with the oil and hot, 1 to 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the cranberries, salt, pepper, stock and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer until the grains are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 25 minutes.
Add the pine nuts and fluff with a fork to mix. Taste and adjust the seasonings. Transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately.
by Joanne Weir (Time-Life Books, 1997).