From the Publisher
“Lorna Sass has created a thoughtful and comprehensive guide from amaranth to triticale that manages to be provocative as well as pleasing; we should all think as carefully about whole grains as she has, and we should try to have at least half as much fun doing it. This book is a great place to start.”
—Dan Barber, chef-owner, Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns
“Lorna Sass’s new book makes whole grains look absolutely mouthwatering! Putting grains in the company of other good foods, where they should have been all along, gives these recipes such style and panache that they are hard to resist. No longer do grains have to be exiled to some dull place of earnest health. Good for Lorna for giving them the star billing they deserve.”
—Deborah Madison, author of Local Flavors:Cooking and Eating from America’s Farmers’ Markets
“This is an exciting new book for all of us who love good food and want to cook food that’s good for us. Lorna Sass has been our trusted guide to the world of healthful eating for years; now she gives us an indispensable primer, simple techniques, and great recipes for the grains we’ve always loved and the ones we’ve always wanted to learn more about. At last I know what to do with kamut–teff, sorghum, and amaranth, too–and so will you.”
—Dorie Greenspan, author of Baking: From My Home to Yours
“This book is a must for anyone trying to make sense of whole-grain recommendations and labels. It should immediately become an essential tool for cooks, timid or adventurous, who want to make delicious meals from basic wheat and rice or the more exotic teff and Job’s tears.”
—Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health, New York University, and author of What to Eat
“The title says it all: Lorna Sass has created an irresistible and wide-ranging collection of recipes that make both familiar and exotic grains easily accessible for everyday meals. I highly recommend this superb and useful cookbook.”
—Paula Wolfert, author of The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen: Recipes for the Passionate Cook
“A first-class, accessible resource for building truly delicious whole-grain dishes into your daily meals.”
—K. Dun Gifford, president, Oldways, and founding member, Whole Grains Council
In this incredibly thorough, A-to-wheat berries guide to whole grains, Sass (Cooking Under Pressure) begins with a thoughtful and extensive primer on whole grains, including detailed profiles and basic cooking instructions for each. She covers no fewer than 20 kinds of rice (Bhutanese red, black Japonica) and just as many types of wheat before launching into recipes for soups and salads, main courses, side dishes, breakfast foods and desserts. The dishes are surprisingly tempting and varied, and the entries are more sophisticated than one might expect in a whole grain book. Thai Chicken Soup with Chinese Black Rice; Quinoa and Calamari Salad; Corn Polenta with Sausage and Peppers; Popcorn-Crusted Catfish; and Wild Rice Medley with Braised Chicken in Balsamic-Fig Sauce. And the sweets and desserts, like Chocolate Chip-Hazelnut Cookies, Popcorn-Almond-Caramel Balls, and Tarragon-Scented Rustic Nectarine Tart, prove that incorporating whole grains into the diet can be downright decadent. (Nov.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Author of more than a dozen cookbooks, Sass now presents an excellent primer on whole grains, with more than 150 recipes. Following a general introduction to whole grains, she presents "Flavor Profiles" of grains from amaranth to wild rice; each of these includes a chart detailing the various forms of the grain and basic cooking methods, along with suggestions for "compatible foods and flavors." The recipes are inspired by a variety of cuisines, ranging from Thai Chicken Soup with Chinese Black Rice to Teff Polenta with Ethiopian Chicken Stew. Sass's cookbook/reference is a good companion to Sheryl and Mel London's The Versatile Grain and the Elegant Bean (o.p.), the classic in the field, and she includes some "newer" grains or family members that were almost unknown when their book was published. For all subject collections. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Read an Excerpt
Bulgur Pudding with Honey and Dates
I have adapted this earthy, comforting bulgur pudding from Gil Marks’s The World of Jewish Desserts. According to Marks, it is a Sephardic pudding (alternately called prehito, moustrahana, and belila) that is common among the Jews of Turkey, who serve it to celebrate the fall holiday of Sukkot.
This dessert cooks in a flash and can be served warm or chilled. Leftovers make a delicious breakfast.1 cup fine bulgur
Serves 6 to 8
1 cup 2% milk
1/4 to 1/3 cup honey, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped
1 cup pitted dates, chopped
1/3 cup dried currants or raisins
Ice cream or sweetened whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
Combine the bulgur and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat to medium, and cook uncovered, stirring frequently, until the water is absorbed, 3 to 5 minutes.
Stir in the milk, 1/4 cup honey, cinnamon, ginger, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and continue cooking, uncovered, at a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, until the mixture develops the consistency of porridge, about 5 minutes. Stir in the walnuts, dates, and currants. Sweeten with additional honey, if desired. Serve warm in bowls. Top with a scoop of ice cream, if you wish.
For a more coarsely textured pudding, use medium bulgur instead of fine. Instructions and cooking time remain the same.
amaranth, quinoa, and corn chowder
Ingredients indigenous to the New World, such as amaranth, quinoa, and corn, taste good together.
In this soup, the amaranth and quinoa add substance and a subtle flavor that complements the more familiar taste of sweet corn.
• 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1 1/2 cups finely chopped leeks (white and light green parts)
• 1 cup finely diced celery (remove “strings” by peeling celery before dicing)
• 1/2 cup finely diced red bell pepper
• 1/4 teaspoon salt; plus more to taste
• 1/4 cup amaranth
• 1/2 cup ivory quinoa, thoroughly rinsed
• 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
• 4 cups fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels
• 1 cup whole milk
• 2 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a large, heavy pot, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Stir in the leeks, celery, red bell pepper, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the amaranth and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in the quinoa and thyme. Return to a boil. Reduce the heat slightly and cook at a gentle boil, partially covered, for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, puree 3 cups of the corn kernels with 1 cup of water. When the quinoa has cooked for 10 minutes, stir the corn puree and the remaining corn kernels into the soup. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat and simmer until the quinoa and amaranth are tender, 3 to 5 more minutes. When the quinoa is done, there will be no starchy white dot in the center of each grain, and some of the germs’ “tails” may unfurl and float freely. On close inspection, the amaranth will look like tiny opaque bubbles floating on the surface.
Stir in the milk and remaining tablespoon of butter. Add more salt, if needed. Divide into portions and garnish each with a little parsley.
NOTE: The soup thickens on standing; thin as needed with additional milk, and add salt to taste.
• For dots of color, use 2 tablespoons of red quinoa and a scant 1/2 cup ivory quinoa. Add the red quinoa when you add the amaranth.
• Use half-and-half or heavy cream instead of milk.
• Use dried tarragon instead of thyme.
Shrimp, Corn, and Quinoa Soup
Instead of water, use 4 cups of fish or clam broth. Use oregano instead of the thyme. Once the quinoa is tender, add 1/2 pound peeled small shrimp. Cook until the shrimp turn pink, about 1 minute. Omit the milk.