Category Archives: Pasta & Grains

Curried Rice Salad

Summer 2014 041

A client was having guests over for dinner, and one of them followed a gluten-free diet. When my client asked if I had a good rice salad recipe, I quickly said yes, thinking I could easily change my Curried Cous Cous Salad recipe to be made with rice.

I served the rice version of this dish with grilled salmon, a mango salsa, and a big green salad, and my clients—and their gluten-free friend—both said it was delicious.

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A Nutty Side Dish

Emmer farro is an ancient heirloom grain. It looks similar to bulgur wheat or a wheat berry, and it has a nice nutty texture. I like to buy the Bluebird Grain Farms brand, which is grown in Washington state’s Methow Valley.

It makes a good side dish on its own, served as you would rice or wheat berries, but I like to dress it up more like a pilaf or salad.

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Going Retro

I was first introduced to this dish in the mid-2000s by a client who requested it for a dinner party. At first I was skeptical–as are most people who are unfamiliar with the dish, I’ve learned–but once I tried it, I was amazed at the flavor.

Without adding any additional liquid, the rice becomes tender simply by absorbing the moisture from the sweet onions. Continue reading

Wild Rice Pilaf

Last fall, I was in the car listening to The Splendid Table on NPR when they started discussing whole stuffed and roasted squash.  I was inspired, and later that week I started to play around with the idea.

Not long after that, I made some for a dinner party I was catering. For our “fall feast” last month, I did another adaptation. The first step is to make the filling—which is the recipe I’m posting today. Continue reading

A Perennial Favorite: Mac and Cheese

My husband loves macaroni and cheese, so when my mother came across this recipe in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer (years ago), she sent it to us without even trying it. I first made it when some friends were coming over for dinner and it was a big hit.

Now I often make this for clients, especially those who have children, though it’s popular with almost everyone. Continue reading