Whole grains are delicious, versatile and healthy, but they take a long time to cook. Save some time by doubling every batch and freezing half, just reheat these grains as an almost-instant side dish for stir-fries or as the base for the three recipes that follow.
Using this method, known as the pasta method for obvious reasons, is hands-down the easiest way to cook almost any grain. Simply simmer any grain in boiling, salted water until tender, then drain—no need to remember water-to-grain ratios. For smaller grains, like quinoa, you’ll need a fine-mesh strainer so the batch doesn’t go down the drain.
With cooked grains on hand, dinner ideas abound: think hearty fried rice, a refreshing salad packed with veggies or grain bowls topped with roasted and raw vegetables and a heavenly tahini dressing. To thaw and reheat, plunge the grains into boiling water and cook one minute.
- 3 cups brown rice, wheat berries, farro, quinoa or barley
- 1 tablespoon salt
- Boil a very large pot of water. Add the rice and salt, stir, and return to boiling; then reduce heat and simmer gently (there should be lots of small bubbles on the surface) until the grains are tender, anywhere from 20 to 40 minutes. Try a few grains every 5 minutes after the 20-minute mark to check on their doneness.
- Drain and transfer the grains to a large rimmed baking pan set on a cooling rack. Cool the grains completely, then package in 2-cup portions in freezer bags. Pat down the bags so they lie flat (this speeds up both freezing and thawing) and freeze up to 3 months.
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