In case you haven't heard, we're running a special series at RAFFL called Real Farms, Real Food, Real Rutland. Funded by the USDA and Vermont Department of Agriculture, it is a combination of farm tours and culinary workshops that further expose and educate people to the food of Rutland County. You can find more information and upcoming events at www.rutlandfarmandfood.org/realrutland.
In the first culinary workshop, a group of students in a food justice class at Green Mountain College led a cooking demo on greens, beans and grains. They did a great job explaining how to work with each of these groups of foods. You can find the demonstration running on PEG TV all this month.
We've talked about cooking with grains in the past. If you don't recall, here is a chart of how to cook 10 common grains for your reference.
And cooking dried beans was another past topic in the post titled A Beginner's Guide to Dried Beans.
What I love about this recipe is that everything is interchangeable. Use the grains, beans and type of greens that you like most or have on hand - it doesn't matter.
Serve it hot or cold, as a side or main dish, vegetarian or chock full of bacon. (If you go the bacon route try a maple smoked variety - adds some amazing flavor.) It's all up to what you like and want to do. And in the end, you can even top it with your preferred dressing.
Bean, Green & Grain Salad
Serves 4 as a side or 2 as a main dish
- 2 slices bacon, chopped (optional)
- 1 tbsp butter or oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 ounces of spinach or other spring greens
- 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans or your favorite bean variety
- 1 cup cooked quinoa or your favorite grain variety
If using bacon: Heat a skillet on medium heat and add chopped bacon. Fry until golden brown, then remove bacon with a slotted spoon and let drain on a paper towel, keeping the bacon drippings in the pan.
If not using bacon: Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat.
Add onions and mushrooms to the pan and saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and spinach and stir for 2-3 minutes, until spinach is wilted down.
Add in beans and quinoa. Turn off heat and stir in bacon (if used). Serve as a main entree or side dish. Dress with your favorite dressing for extra flavor, if desired.