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Oven Grains, Greens and Cheese, Please

grainsgreenscheese

This is a great warm, comforting one-dish crowdpleaser. Cook it on a Saturday when you have family visiting, or a Tuesday just to make yourself happy. Make this into your very own family recipe! Use your favorite grain, or try a new one. The recipe suggests some greens and cheeses, but please do experiment with any you have on hand and love.

You Need:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium onions, sliced
2 cloves, garlic, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms
Salt and pepper
2 bunches kale, chopped
2 bunches Swiss chard, chopped
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
Squeeze of lemon
6 cups cooked, mild-tasting grains, like quinoa, barley or wheat berries
6 cups Fragrant Tomato Sauce (p. 98 of our book or a basic marinara sauce or your favorite store-bought tomato sauce, plus extra to serve on the side)
2 cups mixed cheeses, like a soft goat cheese, fresh mozzarella and fontina

To Make 6 Servings:

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium heat and drizzle in enough oil to cover the bottom.  Saute the onions, garlic and mushrooms until they are soft and golden. Season with salt and pepper and dump them into a bowl.

In a large pot or pan with a lid, steam the greens until tender, 4 to 5 minutes (you might have to do this in a couple of batches). Put the cooked greens in a clean dishtowel or salad spinner and wring out all the excess water. Toss the greens with the Parmesan cheese and egg. Season with a squeeze of lemon, salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Now treat all the ingredients just like a lasagna. Put a layer of grains in  your baking dish, top with tomato sauce, a layer of greens, the mushroom mixture, and a layer of the mixed cheeses, and so on until you finish with a layer of tomato sauce and cheese.

Top the dish with foil or a lid, stick it into the oven, and bake until bubbling, about 35 minutes. Then take off the lid and return the dish to the oven for 10 minutes.

Serve with extra tomato sauce and a simple green salad.

Cook’s Tip:

Use 2 pounds of precooked frozen greens (spinach, kale, collards… your choice) from your supermarket freezer to make this even easier to make, just defrost, squeeze out the moisture and proceed with the recipe, no steaming necessary.

 

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