There’s a host of super grains, some well known and others still under the radar, each with their own unique set of benefits. Most are packed with B vitamins, magnesium and other important minerals and nutrients. Some whole grains, such as quinoa, are considered complete proteins (containing all 8 essential amino acids). Since fiber swells, typically, whole grains such as quinoa will help keep you feeling fuller longer – one reason why a bowl of quinoa cereal is such a smart breakfast choice. The New Jersey-based Pereg Gourmet, a producer of premium, natural spices and spice blends, bread crumbs, ancient grains and quinoa products recently introduced its new quinoa flour ($3.99, 16 oz resealable bag), and also offers a full line of quinoa products including quinoa pasta, quinoa pops cereal, and pre-seasoned quinoa side dishes to North America. Pereg is also known for its vast variety of pure and natural spices and spice blends, more than 60 in all, from traditional favorites to exotics from around the culinary world. They also offer a variety of flavored basmati rices, couscous, farro, salad toppings and salad spreads. All Pereg products are certified by the Orthodox Union (OU), are dairy and lactose-free as well as all natural, with no additives or preservatives. Many are also certified gluten-free and non-GMO.
Here’s a summer recipe using Pereg’s gourmet farro:
Farro Mushroom Risotto
Yield: 5 1/2-cup servings
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, de-stemmed and diced
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium shallots (about ¼ cup), minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup Pereg Gourmet Farro
½ cup white wine
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup shredded parmesan
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
¼ cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons chives
In a large 4-quart saucepan, heat the 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add in the shiitakes and sauté, about 3 minutes, until soft. Remove from pan and set aside.
Melt the butter in the same pan over medium heat. Add in the shallots, garlic and salt and sauté until shallots are slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Then add the farro and stir until the farro is slightly toasted and coated in butter.
Then add in the white wine and let simmer until the wine evaporates, about 2 minutes.
Turn the heat down to low and add in the stock ¼ cup at a time, stirring continuously with each addition. Do not add more stock until the previous ¼ cup has been completely absorbed.
Keep adding until the farro is cooked and mixture is creamy, about 30-40 minutes. You may not need all the stock.
Stir in Parmesan cheese and Greek yogurt immediately and then stir in mushrooms. Garnish with pine nuts and chives.