I love the contrasting flavors and textures of different types of grains mixed together. This recipe pairs small quinoa grains with hefty wheat berry kernels. Another contrast is the dried chickpea beans and fresh green beans. Smokey paprika almonds and aged gouda give it richness. —Fairmount_market
Soak both the chickpeas and the wheat berries separately overnight. For each, rinse and place in 2.5 cups fresh water and simmer on low until they are soft, about 2 hours. Salt generously and reserve. Cook the quinoa on a low simmer in 1.5 cups fresh water with a pinch of salt for about 15 minutes until it releases its halos and the water is absorbed. Strain the chickpeas and wheat berries and combine with the quinoa in a large serving bowl.
Trim the green beans. Blanch them in boiling salted water until they just loose their firmness (about four minutes). Drain and cool in ice water. Cut into 1.5 inch lengths and mix into the bowl of grains.
Char the bell pepper directly over a burner until it its black all over. Place in a deep bowl covered with a plate and allow to steam. When it is cool enough to handle, remove the blistered burned skin. Core and seed the pepper. Cut into 1/2 inch wide and 1 inch long strips and mix into the bowl of grains.
Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Add I Tbsp of olive oil and toss in the almonds to coat them. Add the smoked paprika and a pinch of salt and toss again to coat the almonds with the spice. Cook until the almonds are toasted and fragrant. Mix into the bowl of grains.
Cut the aged gouda into 1/2 inch chunks and mix into the bowl of grains once they are not too hot.
Mix together a dressing of lemon juice, sherry vinegar, and olive oil. Pour over the grain salad and mix well. Taste and add more salt, lemon juice, vinegar, or olive oil as needed. Rinse and chop the parsley leaves and toss into the salad. Serve warm or at room temperature.
I'm a biology professor and mother of two, and in my (limited) free time I love to cook, which is much more forgiving than laboratory science. Last year I helped start a farmers market in my neighborhood, and to promote it, I created a food blog: fairmountmarket.blogspot.com. I enjoy the challenge of coming up with recipes for local, seasonal ingredients and finding fun ways to cook with my children.