What can you make with a half cup of wild rice, the end of a bag of barley, and some leftover whatchamacallit? This!
Multiple personality pilaf
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
6 cups freshly cooked or leftover cooked grains, total amount (see Tip, below)
1 cup frozen corn or peas (see Tip, below)
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and/or slivered almonds, toasted
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 2-quart deep casserole or baking dish.
2. Place the butter or oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic, if using, and cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to turn golden, 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for just another couple of minutes, until they begin to soften. Remove from heat and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
3. Add the cooked grains, corn (or peas or whatever you’re using), seeds or nuts, parsley, salt, and pepper. Toss gently to mix all the ingredients well without mushing up the tomatoes. Transfer to the casserole dish, cover with a lid or foil, and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until heated through. makes 4 to 6 servings.
TIP Make this with white or brown rice, wild rice, barley, quinoa, wheat berries, or whatever grains you have in any proportion (at least 2 or 3 different kinds). Even small pasta shapes are fine here too. Cook each separately to avoid under- or overcooking, as much as a day or two ahead.
TIP No frozen corn or peas? Try a mix of roasted veggies (carrots, squash, peppers), sautéed mushrooms, cooked green beans, broccoli, or corn cut from the cob.