Radish and Pecan Grain Salad

By • January 25, 2011 • 51 Comments



Author Notes: When you write about food, you always have your "foodar" on, as you search for new ideas to write about. So at a recent holiday party at our friends' Rachel and Morgan's, where I was supposedly watching after my two little ones, my foodar went "BE-EP! BE-EP!" when I tasted a grain salad that was served along with delicious roasted turkey.

The salad was made with farro, wild rice, quinoa, and barley. The grains were threaded with pecans, raisins, and dried cranberries and the salad was brightened with bits of arugula, radishes, and a wash of sherry vinegar and walnut oil. It was the kind of salad that sounds like a starchy do-gooder, but it has grace and conviction, and you'll want to eat it every day for lunch. Andrew Burman and Matt Monahan, the chefs at Court Street Grocers, who were the caterers that evening, kindly shared the recipe with me.
Amanda Hesser

Serves 6 to 8 as a side

  • 2 cups mixed grains (like farro, freekeh, wheat berries, wild rice, and quinoa, pearl barley, or any combination of the above)
  • 1 cup baby arugula leaves
  • 1 cup parsley leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup tarragon leaves, minced
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, cut in a chiffonade
  • 1/2 cup pecans
  • 1/4 cup walnut oil
  • 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
  • 1 cup lime, watermelon, or French breakfast radishes, cut into thin slices, preferably using a mandoline
  • 1/4 cup shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the grains and cook until just tender, about 25 minutes. (With grains like wild rice and wheat berries, add them to the pot first and cook 10 minutes before adding remaining grains).
  2. Drain the grains into a colander, then set aside until warm to the touch.
  3. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Season with salt to taste.
Jump to Comments (51)

Comments (51) Questions (1)

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6 months ago CurioCook

I made this for my lunches this week -- so good! It seems so simple, but it is very tasty and satisfying. I didn't have sherry vinegar so used apple cider vin, and olive oil because they don't have anything more adventurous at our local grocery store… still worked well! I like a bit of local NZ sheep's milk feta on top. Yum yum!

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6 months ago tulip549

Great recipe. I made this for Superbowl Sunday- used farro and quinoa. I doubled the amount of arugula, added cilantro, sesame seeds, almonds, cranberries, radishes, and cashews, and my sauce consisted of olive oil, lemon juice, rice vinegar, honey, shallots, garlic, chile pepper and salt all blended together.

I made the farro and quinoa the night before and poured some dressing to let the flavors mingle. Would recommend tossing in the arugula and remainder of the greens an hour or so before you plan to serve such that the greens looks fresh and not wilted.

These sorts of grain salad recipes are great in the sense that you can improvise and throw in whatever you want! :D

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11 months ago Cynthea

I made this dish for a pot-luck birthday party. I used black rice, quinoa and wild rice for the grains to keep it GF. I was so delighted with the many flavors and nuances that I kept tasting it and worried that I might have to make another before I got it to the party! YUM! Thanks for sharing.

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about 1 year ago KatherineC

Can you recommend a whole fruit substitute for the dried cranberries/raisins? Also is it 1/2 pound or 1/2 cup pecans?

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about 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Cherries, blueberries, or diced peach would be good. And I'm glad you asked about the pecans, I think that was a typo. Should be 1/2 cup.

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about 1 year ago KatherineC

Thanks! I stuck with the dried fruit and used a mixture of blueberries, cherries, raisins and cranberries. It was fun to use a variety of dried fruit. I made it gluten-free with wild rice, quinoa and buckwheat groats - it was delicious!

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about 1 year ago Chloe8

yum. Any substitute for walnut oil? Perhaps this oil makes the dish perfect?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

The walnut oil is a nice touch but there are a lot of other great flavors in this dish, so olive oil would be a perfectly fine substitute.

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about 1 year ago Josie Marsh

Simply fantastic. Glad to have a good use for my big tarragon plant and garden radishes, too!

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about 1 year ago Ceege

Oh yum. So good. I did a trial run of this dish as I would like to make it later for "guests". Using it as my side dish, what meat/poultry/fish would be best with this dish. Actually, if you have an actual recipe you use, please let me know and I will do a search for it. Thanks for a wonderful side dish (I love grains).

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Friends of mine always serve it with roast turkey. This time of year, I'd pair it with a grilled skirt steak or grilled chicken. Hope this is helpful!

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about 1 year ago gingerroot

This is a fantastic salad. Based on the ingredients and comments I'd already decided to use it for a luncheon I'm hosting in June, but just tried it last night. I used wild rice and quinoa, raisins, dried cherries, mac nut oil, some basil and rosemary because that is what I had on hand. I know it will be even better with the mint and tarragon. Yum!

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about 1 year ago EmilyC

I know I've already confessed my love for this salad but will again. I just made a big bowl of it for a dinner party tonight. Since we're having roasted radishes, I skipped the radishes here and added lightly sautéed asparagus and goat's milk feta. Kept everything else exactly the same.

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about 1 year ago Jean Beck

My dad loved his radishes just dragged through a mound of salt. Sadly for me, the radish has always been a bit of a non-starter as I have encountered too many woody characters in my day. I promise to give them another shot this season though and this salad seems as though it has many enticing flavors. I look forward to adding the radish to my expanding vegetable favorites. Thanks for the recipe.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

You're welcome, and hope it transforms your feelings about radishes!

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over 1 year ago Ceege

Yummy, can't wait to try this. I have been looking for more "grain" recipes and looks like I have another to add to my collection. Do I really need two kinds of oils (walnut & olive) for this recipe?

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

No -- feel free to use whatever one you have on hand!

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over 1 year ago EmilyC

This is one of my favorite recipes on the site -- it's perfect as written and open to improvisation. It's a huge hit every time I make it. Glad to see the new James Ransom pic!

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over 1 year ago CathyL

I made this for a vegan dinner party and everyone (even the omnivores) loved it. There were beautiful French breakfast radishes, wild arugula and spearmint at the Union Square farmers' market; grains were a mix of Rancho Gordo red quinoa, pearl barley and wheat berries. Piled the salad on a bed of pea shoots. Delicious! It does make a lot, so I sent everyone home with some and will enjoy the rest for lunch today.

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over 1 year ago Tish

OMG!! Every bit of this menu sounds yummy. I'm going to serve the entire menu for my bunco group this month. Thanks Food52 for these very fresh recipes.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Let us know how it turns out -- happy bunco-ing!

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over 1 year ago walrusgumbo

yum! i used barley and bulgar as my grains and omitted the mint and tarragon (did not have them on hand). also i subbed smoked almonds for the pecans. i served it with panko chicken cutlets with a kimchi relish and sweet potato molasses rolls with avocado butter. this was great for lunch the next day.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

over 1 year ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

yum!

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over 1 year ago darksideofthespoon

I used wild rice, quinoa, barley and farro - baby Kale instead of arugula and doubled the cranberries in place of raisins. SO DELICIOUS. My new favorite salad.

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almost 2 years ago Yessica

Hi!! I am in love with your website and really would like to try this recipe. A little confused on the ingredient list--1 cup lime, watermelon, or French breakfast radishes. What is it that I actually need?
this looks perfect for our next get together. Thank you so much for sharing :o)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

It means you can use any variety of radish that you like! Hope that helps -- and thanks for your kind words about the site. Let us know your thoughts on the recipe!

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over 1 year ago Yessica

Well, this recipe is on the regular rotation at my house. Everytime I make it there are no leftovers for next day. I have shared it withnothers and they only have great things to say. So glad I found you on the web. Every day I learn something new.

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about 2 years ago Mojolyn

A great and flexible salad. I've taken it to my family reunion 2 years in a row, to rave reviews. This time I used equal parts quinoa and wheat berries, and lots more arugula. It gets better after a few days.

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over 2 years ago EmilyC

This was the first dish I cooked after recently having a baby and it totally hit the spot. I love the combination of flavors -- I'll be making variations of this salad all spring and summer long.

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over 2 years ago rpepper

I made this gluten-free, with 1 1/2 cups buckwheat groats (kasha) and 1/2 cup wild rice. I cooked the two grains separately; the kasha needs to be toasted and then cooks for only about 10 minutes. No walnut oil on hand, so I used a blend of olive and vegetable oil. It came out beautifully--great flavor!