Every so often, a new product leaps from the shelf and says, “PICK ME, PICK ME.” This was the case recently when I was strolling along the vast aisles of the Mediterranean Wholesalers in Brunswick. This magic emporium of Italian gastronomy ( with a bit of Spanish thrown in ) is disturbingly tempting and I seem to come back with things that were NOT on the list.
This was the case with this box of grain by Gallo. 3 Ceriali- Riso, Farro e Orzo. The instructions are in Italian but are simple enough. Non Mettere a Bagno – don’t soak, and Tempo di cottura– cooking time- 12 minutes. Obviously, the grains are par-boiled. This small detail on the box led to moments of internal struggle. The purist traditional wholefoody lady was bowled over by the 12 minute promise; the pragmatist furtively smuggled the box into her basket.
As I opened the box, my mind wandered to the hearty soups of Lucca, the farro of the Garfagnana mountains, the trattorie of Urbino. But it’s summer here, and these cereals, simply boiled, could make a wondrous salad base. Or stuffing for peppers and eggplants. Or a filling for silver beet leaves, a big involtino of goodness. Or taken on camping trips. Or, or…. a Pilaf.
Note- my recipes are flexible and are based on the ‘handful of this, a bit of that’ approach to cooking.
Recipe for a simple pilaf style side dish
- 1 cup of 3 cereal (Gallo brand)
- 4 onions, sliced finely
- a big glug of EV olive oil
- two garlic cloves, chopped finely
- fresh herbs of choice, example oregano
- a big handful of broad beans
- salt, pepper
- Cook the grains in a large pot of boiling water for around 18-20 minuutes or to taste. (no salt)
- Meanwhile, caramelise the onions in a pan with some good olive oil for 10 minues, adding the chopped garlic towards the end.
- Then shell and cook the broadbeans in boiling water for two minutes, drop into cold water, drain and peel off outer shells.
- Add the cooked grains to the onions, add herbs to taste, then add the cooked broad beans.
- Serve as a side dish.
Note: as a part of Australian law that require bloggers to disclose any kickbacks they receive, I must add that I am not receiving any gratuity from the meditterranean wholesalers, or any one else for that matter. I just happen to like the place. If only our radio shock jocks were as transparent.