Grains Spectacular

Finished dish with arugula, cheese, and dressing on top

This recipe is inspired by a great salad we’ve had at Gialina’s in Glen Park called “Farro salad”.  Basically it was a farro grain salad with some seasonal veggies in it and a topping of greens, stracciatella cheese, and dressing.


  • 2 cups of grains:
    • Wheat berries:  1.5-2 hours
    • Whole-grain barley: 1 hour?
    • Purple barley: 1 hour
    • Sorghum: 60 minuntes
    • Pearled barley: 45 minutes?
    • Wild rice: 45 minutes
    • Farro: 40 minutes
    • Brown rice: 40 minutes?
    • French green lentils 40 min
    • White rice:  15 minutes
    • Quinoa:  10-15 minutes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of oil or fat
  • Aromatics:
    • 1 big onion
    • mushrooms?
    • carrots?
  • Toppings:
    • Arugula or other bitter greens
    • Vinegar
    • Stratiatella cheese


he recipe is pretty simple, and we figured it out by some trial and error:

  1.  Select the grains you want to use, and note their cooking times  I like a mix of the following:
  2. Boil a generous amount of water, and add the grain that takes the longest time to cook first.  As your timer counts down, keep adding the next grain when the remaining time is correct.  Add additional water as necessary.
  3. Drain the grains after cooking
  4. 3.  Check that the grains are done, and drain any excess water off.
  5. 4. In a large frying pan, heat up a generous amount of fat:  We use saved bacon fat from the refrigerator, but you could also use butter, chicken fat, or vegetable oil.  This will make it taste rich instead of dry and healthy.
  6. 5. Sauté an onion and any other veggies you like in the oil:  carrots and mushrooms are a good addition also.
  7. 6. When the aromatics are soft, add the grains to the pan and saute to coat all the grains with the oil.
  8. Add salt and pepper

    Mixing the cooked grains with the veggies

  9. Add some bitter greens on top. Arugula can be raw, but maybe things like chard should be cooked quickly
  10. Serve by drizzling vinegar on top for some acid.  Gialina’s uses some amazing moscato vinegar which adds a bit of sweetness to their Farro salad.