After a while, plain old boiled grain can get tiresome. Sauces help, as do additions to the pot while they cook, but chasing around those last few grains of rye or spelt on your plate gets old. So, we decided to have a Nikki and David Goldbeck-a-licious meal, with Atlantic Avenue Green Beans and Savory Grain Crackers (both from their American Wholefoods Cuisine Cookbook) as the inspirations and guides.
This dinner was prompted by a freezer inventory check. Who knew we had put away so many green beans! Well, maybe if we had really thought back to that crate of beans we had bulk ordered, it would make sense. The sense of surprise bounty is fun, so we block those memories and exclaim over the sudden wealth of goodies.
This recipe is almost too simple, and would be great with any number of additions. Onions, tomatoes, butter (or olive oil), salt and pepper are the only ingredients. Top with cheese, add noodles, mix up the colors of beans, maybe even substitute some of those green beans with other veggies. The only stipulation is that it all has to be the peak of taste perfection, or it will fall flat. Frozen and canned at the peak work great, but don’t dare try this with bland, mealy winter grocery store tomatoes and questionable Mexico green beans.
The grain ‘cracker’ was more of a flat ‘bread’. It didn’t seem promising at first, but it really came together in the oven.
It looks like a bird-seed treat. All it needs is some dried fruit and I could probably throw this in the bird’s cages. Not this time, this one was all for Laura and myself!
Slathered with butter, this thing was yummy. Unlike plain grains, the butter sits on top, instead of pooling around the bottom of the pile. Next time, I think I will add a little more flour, more salt and herbs, and maybe a touch of onion. This, just like the green beans, is a great starting point for playing around in the kitchen. Halfway through dinner, Laura and I looked at each other, and both said “This would be great as an alternative pizza crust”. Look for that in the near future!
Dessert was a ray of sunshine before the next snow storm (~12 inches Wednesday). A jar of ground cherry preserves, a little granola and a bit of chocolate to round out our evening.
It was so good. I can’t explain. We almost ate the whole half-pint jar in one go. Totally makes the time spend husking those berries totally worth it. When we have a garden, we will have oogles of these plants. Promise.