Here we are, gang, a new week, another early Tuesday morning, and I’m still talking about einkorn. I know. But I figure, when I brought you Friday’s post, less a story and more a list of FAQs, you all were such champs, and I mean you all, every last one of you, looking a new ingredient in the face boldly and bravely, ready to give it a shot, that maybe you wouldn’t mind just one more einkorn post to follow it? The thing is, while we’ve already told you einkorn flour is great for pizza, pancakes, cookies (einkorn in these!), tartlets and pitas, and while you know you can create your own einkorn flour by buying the berries and grinding them at home, there’s something else that needs to be said, because there’s more to einkorn berries than flour:
einkorn berries can hold their own.
The truth is, that tiny mention in Friday’s post about the berries, about using them in porridges or salads—it was a little lackluster, to say the least. It was not the kind of thing to get the message across. So today is all about the berries and two of our favorite ways to enjoy them.
First, in breakfast porridge:
I wish I’d eaten porridge when I was a kid. Goldilocks and the Three Bears would have made much more sense. But alas, in my 1990s childhood, while my parents sometimes ate Cream of Wheat, and I sometimes (as in, almost never) could be convinced to have the kind of flavored instant oatmeal that came with apple cinnamon flavoring in a paper pouch, porridge was as foreign a concept as blogging and smartphones, both of which, 30s alert!, didn’t become Big Things until I had already graduated college. I can hardly believe that’s possible. And speaking of a 1990s childhood, have you seen this Internet Explorer commercial? (Answering machines! Floppy discs! The Oregon Trail!) My typical breakfast in adolescence involved a bowl of Cheerios, sometimes with a banana sliced in—pretty paltry specimens compared to the hot and creamy goodness of einkorn porridge, which is morning comfort food at its finest. We like ours topped with a little milk, some pure maple syrup and maybe a few berries on top.
Exhibit B of Why Einkorn Berries Are Awesome: salads like this one.
Sometime last month, while Tim and I were afternoon-dating at Marché, a beautiful East Nashville café surrounded by draped windows and filled with rustic farmhouse tables and chairs, he ordered a farro salad kind of like this einkorn one, and it was so good, I wished I’d ordered the same thing. Marché, ebook readers may remember, is the first restaurant I ever ate at in Nashville, a place then recommended by Tim, this blog friend I’d asked for recommendations before we came to town, and today, three years later, it is still the restaurant I like best. They stick to simple, flavorful dishes, inspired by tastes in Italy and France, always arranged in a way that’s visually appealing.
And so, over this past weekend, when we made this einkorn salad, bright and colorful, both chewy from the einkorn berries and crunchy from the radicchio pieces, I thought of Marché and why a simple salad is a tough thing to beat. “Let things taste of what they are,” Alice Waters says, and I get what she means. Rather than hiding the faint sweetness of the einkorn or the abrasive bitterness of the radicchio, rather than covering the shallots or the walnuts or the parsley, this salad brings them all together, melds their tastes, and gives something delightful to eat.
Einkorn Breakfast Porridge
Recipe adapted from Jovial Foods
Makes enough to serve two small (or one very large) bowlfuls.
1/2 cup einkorn berries (available on Amazon)
2 cups water
Pinch of salt
Possible additions: Milk, maple syrup, honey, fruit, cinnamon, nuts, etc.
Grind einkorn berries in a powerful food processor or blender until it looks kind of like steel cut oats. Bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil; whisk in the einkorn and simmer on low for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with whatever additions you like.
Einkorn Salad with Radicchio and Walnuts
Makes enough to serve at a party or, 6-8 servings
While the honey finish in this recipe may seem excessive, trust us. The bitterness of the raw radicchio and shallots is offset by the hefty drizzles of honey at the end, and… let’s just say, raw radicchio is the kind of thing to make you want a way to offset that bitterness at the end.
1 cup of einkorn berries, cooked (bring 2 cups water to rolling boil; add berries and reduce to simmer for 30 minutes)
1 small head of radicchio, chopped up finely (ours was 9 ounces in size)
2 shallots, minced (around 4 ounces total)
for the dressing:
scant 1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice (for us, this was the juice of 1 1/2 lemons)
1/4 cup minced parsley
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
2 Granny smith apples, diced
5 tablespoons honey
Salt and pepper
Combine chopped radicchio and minced shallots in a large bowl. Make the dressing by whisking olive oil, lemon juice and chopped parsley together. Drizzle the dressing over the radicchio and shallots and toss well. Add walnuts, diced apple and honey; salt and pepper (be generous!) to taste.