Amanda & Merrill

Radish and Pecan Grain Salad

January  7, 2011

Lime Radish and Pecan Grain Salad

- Amanda

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.

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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.

Radish and Pecan Grain Salad

By Andrew Burman and Matt Monahan, the chefs at Court Street Grocers.

Serves 6 to 8 as a side

  • 2 cups mixed grains (like farro, freekah, 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 pound 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.

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ashleyamore January 18, 2011
Made this for some girlfriends last night- we loved it! Great base recipe - one in which I really want to use my quinoa, wheatberries, and brown rice. Thanks :)
LloJo January 17, 2011
Absolutely delicious. Next time I think I'll cut back on the oil a little, but it's definitely going in the grain salad repertoire! I used kamut, barley, quinoa and wild rice. Yum! Thanks Amanda.
ChickenPotPie January 13, 2011
Holy crap that's a good salad! I made it with bulgur and just parsley because the mint and tarragon at the store did not look good. I had a huge watermelon radish from my winter CSA that I didn't know what to do with. Delicious! Thank you for the recipe.
Amanda H. January 14, 2011
Like your on-the-fly adaptations!
marynn January 11, 2011
Astonishingly delicious right on the heels of the lentil/rice/onion/spiced yogurt (name and sp?) entry in the Lentil Contest. Lunch has never been so interesting.

My dear grain-adverse husband pronounced the dressed grains--pre-lettuce, pecan, raisin and radish--as delicious (!), even better than tabbouleh from Emily's Lebanese here in Mpls. High praise, indeed.

Amanda H. January 11, 2011
Please thank him for the praise -- glad we've converted him.
melissav January 10, 2011
I had this for lunch today and it was excellent. And so filling that I didn't get my 3:00 sweets craving.
seisinger January 10, 2011
Delicious. Made this this afternoon for lunch. Used apple cider vinegar and olive oil because that's what I had around and for the grains, used farro, barley and quinoa. Fortifying!
Amanda H. January 10, 2011
Bet the cider vinegar was a nice echo to the fruit.
Julianna January 10, 2011
We have a regular potluck -mostly vegetarian- and this will be perfect. I love the cruch of radish and the chew of grains. And it seems like the grown-up, sophisticated version of the earnest do-gooder type salad.
Teri January 10, 2011
Thanks, Amanda. I made it Sunday night for dinner. And can't wait for lunch today!
Katehardin January 10, 2011
Where can I find watermelon or French breakfast radish?
Are they sold at any of the stalls at the union square farmers market?
Amanda H. January 10, 2011
I'm not sure if they're sold there, but I'd try. More likely one of the farmers sells the breakfast radishes than the watermelon.
Jamie B. January 8, 2011
What would you suggest substituting for the pecans and walnut oil? I cook for a family that has nut allergies, but can tolerate macadamias, pine nuts, and pistachios.
Amanda H. January 8, 2011
Pistachios and just more olive oil would be great!
marynn January 8, 2011
Three cheers for your addition of a recipe box! And I wonder, might it help your research for another Food52 cookbook and/or Times cookbook (love it, Amanda!) to survey what your readers are saving?
Amanda H. January 8, 2011
Yes -- and we can actually track that in our database, although we haven't looked at that yet (but should and will!). Thank you!
Daphne January 8, 2011
I do want to eat this every day for lunch! Thanks Amanda for passing on this wonderful recipe! Now I want to make another roast turkey too: )
Amanda H. January 8, 2011
Thank YOU!
Teri January 7, 2011
I am making this for lunch this week. "1 cup lime, watermelon, or French breakfast radishes, cut into thin slices, preferably using a mandoline" is my favorite sentence of the year so far, in spite of the fact that it's not really a sentence. But TWO gallons of water? 32 cups of water? Really? If we used, say 26 cups, or 12 for that matter, would it really make a difference?

Amanda H. January 7, 2011
Just a large pot of salted water.
TheWimpyVegetarian January 7, 2011
I've been increasing my greens and grains over the last few months and this looks like a perfect salad to make this weekend. Thanks!!
Amanda H. January 8, 2011
Yes, it's definitely what I needed post-holidays, too.
shozgirl January 7, 2011
Don't wheatberries and unpearled barley need to be soaked and cooked more like 50 mins? I guess follow the directons on pkg..
Amanda H. January 7, 2011
Sorry, just fixed that -- should have said pearl barley. But the wheatberries, I didn't soak and it worked out just fine.
nutcakes January 7, 2011
Generous of them to share the recipe. Sounds very appealing. I wonder how it keeps, because of the arugula. Any suggestions for a main if I use this for a large lunch I have coming up?
Amanda H. January 7, 2011
It was great with roasted turkey, so I think it would also be delicious with chicken or duck. Also, pork shoulder.
onetribegourmet January 7, 2011
gorgeous looking salad! can't wait to try it!
Jennifer A. January 7, 2011
What a beautiful salad! I have never heard of French breakfast radishes (will need to search for them on my upcoming visit to Paris :)) - Is there a quick way to save this to my recipe box? I dont' see the usual button.
Amanda H. January 7, 2011
Because it's a blog post not a recipe format, it doesn't have that button, but we'll soon be adding it to our recipe database where you can save it to your recipe box. (Also, in the near future, we're going to make it so blog post recipes have the same tools as recipes. In the meantime, sorry for the inconvenience.)
Pat E. January 8, 2011
Thanks....I thought it was just me that couldn't find the save button!
yquinonez January 9, 2011
I was lost too, thanks.
betteirene January 7, 2011
Substantial without being heavy, and I don't think it'd be ruined if a few pieces of leftover shrimp or steak were thrown in. Thanks.
Amanda H. January 8, 2011
TiggyBee January 7, 2011