How to Build a Grain Salad, According to Tusk Chef Sam Smith
Tusk chef Sam Smith shares his golden formula for a build-your own spring grain bowl. Choose one of each type of ingredient unless otherwise indicated. This recipe serves four as a sald, two as a main course.
3 Cups Vegetables
Options: Fava beans, blanched for 15 seconds in very salty water and peeled // Radishes, raw, halved or quartered // Celery, raw, sliced ¼-inch-thick // Beets, roasted in a pan tightly covered with tin foil with a splash of water, zinfandel vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Afterward: peel and cut into 1/2-inch chunks or cubes // English peas, blanched for 15 seconds in very salty water // Porcini mushrooms: cut into ¼-inch cubes and sautéed with olive oil and salt
It goes without saying: vegetables are the star of the show; go to the farmers market for your produce. Supermarket celery will always be watery and bland.
3 Cups Cooked Grains
Barley // Green Wheat // Farro
Smith is an Ayers Creek acolyte. You can find the Gaston-based farm’s grains and produce at Providore Market.
1½ Cups Fresh Herbs
Parsley // Tarragon // Mint // Chervil // Dill // Basil
1 Cup Cheese
Portland Creamery chèvre, broken into clumps // Briar Rose Creamery feta, crumbled // Black Sheep Creamery Brebis, broken into clumps
1 Cup Nuts
Hazelnuts, chopped // Pistachios, toasted and chopped // Walnuts, toasted and chopped
½ Cup Olive Oil
Smith likes Napa Valley’s Katz for vinegar and olive oil.
¼ Cup Vinegar
Sauvignon blanc vinegar // Honey vinegar // Zinfandel vinegar
A Drizzle of Nut Oil
Hazelnut // Argan // Walnut
Smith uses Moroccan argan oil to add a nutty, Mid-East accent to his plates. But it’s pricy, so use sparingly. $25 for 100 mL at World Foods.
A Sprinkle of Spice
Sumac // Aleppo pepper // Black pepper