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Grain- and bean-based salads


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I've just acquired a rice cooker, and, to put it to good use, I'm planning to incorporate more whole-grain and bean salads into my summer repertoire. For grains I'm interested in ingredients like wild rice, barley, farro, and quinoa. For beans, I want to move beyond the usual (but much beloved) three bean salad that is ubiquitous at my family's outings.

I have one good wild rice salad recipe that uses pecans, oranges, green onions, and parsley in a balsamic vinaigrette, and I also make a lentil and roasted beet salad with feta cheese that I like a lot. I've tried several others from various sources with varying degrees of success. So rather than wade through a bunch of mediocre salads, I thought I would ask here! :smile:

Does anyone have a favorite grain or bean salad they can share?


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I dont know the "recipe" but ..that salad is wild rice, green lentles, diced sweet potato, cranberries and feta in a sweet champagne vinaigrette

sometimes the sweet potato was replaced with smoked duck...much much better


The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers


Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

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I love this sort of recipe -- epicurious has a marvelous brown rice, broccoli and blue cheese salad that is extraordinary. It's a great take on the ubiquitous white rice/broccoli/American cheese thing my sister-in-law does and thinks everyone else likes.

You can change the rice, the veggies, the cheese ad infinitum.

I also like a southwestern salad thing with lentils and couscous, corn and black beans.

I like to bake nice things. And then I eat them. Then I can bake some more.

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I heard somewhere that native berries are traditionally used with wild rice. I've never tried it - but will do so now.

Epicurious! I should have thought of them.

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Cranberry Walnut Quinoa Salad

• 1 cup quinoa, well rinsed

• 1 cup dried cranberries

• 1 cup green beans, lightly steamed

• 1/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

• 1/4 cup scallions, sliced

• 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar -- white preferred

• 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil or walnut oil

• 4 cloves garlic, julienned

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 - Combine quinoa with 2 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and continue cooking until all water is absorbed -- about 15 minutes (or prepare in rice cooker).

2 - In a medium bowl, combine cooked quinoa, dried cranberries, green beans, walnuts*, and scallions until well mixed. In a small bowl, whisk the balsamic vinegar, oil, and garlic until well blended. Pour over the quinoa mixture. Toss until well blended. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Makes about 5 1/2 cups.

* I prefer to add nuts when serving, and serving at room temperature rather than chilled.

I also toss the dressing with the hot quinoa before adding the berries, etc.

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My husbands favorite is one I make with...

Basmati rice

Fresh corn (super yummy if grilled, but just boiled and cut off the cob is fine)

watercress or arugala

toasted pecans

cubes of mild cheese (munster or monterrey jack)

red onion (or scallions work too)

I make this with a lemon or lime vinagrette made with lots of fresh ground black pepper... My husband swears that adding fresh blueberries to this is fantastic, but I don't think they're necessary...


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I make a salad that's kind of a cross between tabbouleh and Greek salad -- bulgar wheat, tomatoes, cucumber, Kalamata olives, onion, feta cheese, mint and parsley. Dressed with olive oil and lemon juice.

Another favorite is rice, corn, black beans, red and green pepper and green onions, with a cilantro-jalapeno dressing. I've also made this one with quinoa and it was good that way as well.

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  • 1 month later...

I had a couple of tablespoons of leftover pesto, so tonight's salad is wheat berries, chopped sun dried tomatoes, chopped shallot, and very coarsely grated pecorino romano, all in a pesto vinaigrette made with a pinot grigio vinegar that a friend gave me. It's marinating right now and tastes pretty good, so it should be even better by dinner time. This is going to serve as a side to some fresh veggies from the farmer's market.


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