What to CookSalad

A Kinship Salad

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Every week we take a peek inside the lunches of the luckiest kids in Brooklyn. Read on, suppress your jealousy, and get a little brown bag inspiration.

This past weekend during a pantry excavation, I unearthed a small container of black barley. I took pity on the mere handful left behind, and fast tracked it to lunch duty. Similarly, I recruited an orange kabocha squash that sat for weeks neglected, yet dignified, on my mantle. They would find kinship in a bowl, somehow.

I cooked the black barley like regular barley in boiling salted water (only longer because it still wears its hull) and roasted the squash in wedges with its skin on. Then I mixed the two with brown rice and quinoa. I had a bowl of grains and squash and little inspiration for what to do next, so I went to bed. Cooks often think a salad must be completed all at once, but grain salads allow for mulling. In the morning, I rooted around my fridge and the ideas flowed a little faster: I added cubed mozzarella, thyme, parsley, olive oil, roasted garlic, and the juice of an orange. I'm sure I could have come up with a snappier dressing but it tasted good. I can always add more to it tomorrow.

For dessert, I handed the reins to Dana's Bakery, a maker of playful and delicious macarons. Addison, my daughter, chose a red velvet macaron, Walker a Thin Mint macaron. The Aleppo pepper and pink peppercorn chocolate comes from Eclat.

What's in your lunch today? See some of the twins' past lunches

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Lunch, Back to School, Amanda & Merrill, Not Sad Desk Lunch, Kids, Brown Bag Lunch, Amanda's Kids' Lunch