Multigrain Pilaf with Lentils


Summer generally means I cook less. I eat more dips, more “salads” based on beans and chopped vegetables, quick pasta dishes, a few light soups, and far too much ice cream. Today, though, we have a brief reprieve from the heat. It’s actually less than 80 degrees in my apartment. How do I maximize my cool kitchen weather? Cooking multiple dishes as once, for future consumption. Today, I made a dozen hard-boiled eggs (pullet eggs I brought home from Maine!), pancakes, and a delicious easy multi-grain pilaf. Later I might even make a pot of soup, or roasted vegetables.

Containing several whole grains and lentils, a multigrain pilaf a great refrigerator staple. It’s flexible enough that you can eat it daily, but avoid monotony by changing the flavors via vegetables and/or additional protein.  I use it several different ways:

        • tossed with raw or cooked vegetables and vinaigrette
        • shaped into balls (like onigiri)
        • as a filling for stuffed collard leaves
        • reheated as a side dish.

The grains are somewhat flexible, but I always like to keep the lentils and a little wild rice. Both add nutrients while deepening the flavor. Mixing it with nuts (see almonds in photo above), or dried fruit, yields a simple but sophisticated dish. While I haven’t done so, a pilaf can be used as a certerpiece for a DIY supper party. Set out the grains, several flavors of dressing, a variety of chopped vegetables, cooked beans, chopped hardboil egg, a little grilled fish/meat, herbs, toasted nuts, and dried fruit. Guests can pile on the toppings, and customize it to their tastes and/or dietary restrictions.

Multi-Grain Pilaf

2 T olive oil
1/2 c millet
1/2 c wild rice
1/2 c brown rice
1/2 c French green lentils
3 1/2 to 4 1/2 c water
1/2 t dried thyme
1/2 t dried sage
1 bay leaf
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch of chili pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a rice cooker or pot. Add the grains and lentils, and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the herbs, pepper flakes, and garlic. Mix well and add the water (use the smaller amount for a rice cooker, the larger amount for a pot). Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cover and simmer for 40 minutes, or until tender.

Linked to: Pennywise Platter, Simple Lives Thursdays, It’s a Keeper, Frugal Fridays

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2 thoughts on “Multigrain Pilaf with Lentils

    • I vaguely think of barley as requiring a longer cooking time, so I would be inclined to cook it separately and toss with the others when they are all cooked. If you can fine cracked barley or barley groats, that might work. (FYI, for the gluten-free readers, barley is not gluten free.)

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