Endlessly Adaptable Quick Summer Meals
There’s much to love about grain bowls, most especially their endless adaptability. They are an ideal way to use up leftovers from summer grilling—or as a means to build a flavorful, creative, one-dish meal from the wealth of local produce, fish, meat, eggs and cheese we have here in Rhode Island.
The grain bowl’s adaptability extends to the grains themselves: Instead of the brown rice called for in this recipe, try farro, freekeh, quinoa, bulgur or wild rice.
In keeping with the versatile nature of grain bowls, my recipe can be modified easily; my Honey-Lime Dressing’s bright flavors will complement much of summer’s bounty. Try locally landed fish instead of chicken or try thinly sliced grilled steak, pork or seared tofu. Add sliced fresh peaches and tomatoes, and use spicy greens, such as arugula or mustard greens, in place of the radish greens.
For a vegetarian option, grill eggplant and mushrooms in place of the chicken. Remove the egg and substitute agave for honey in the dressing to make the eggplant-mushroom version vegan. Grain bowls are also good on the go, making them an ideal make-ahead lunch option.
Give these combos a try:
• Grilled swordfish and farro. Ask for cubed swordfish tails, which are less costly per pound than swordfish steak. Brush lightly with olive oil and lemon juice and grill. Pair with grilled zucchini and fennel, chopped tomato, arugula and caper berries, then top with a dressing of lemon juice, Dijon mustard, olive oil and crushed red pepper flakes.
• Use leftover barbecued chicken in a quinoa bowl with sautéed kale or collard greens, grated cabbage or cole slaw, pickled carrots, dilly beans or pickled okra and a drizzle of barbecue sauce.
• Grilled local steak is fabulous paired with grains, black beans, corn salsa, grilled green onions and a jalapeño-lime dressing.
• Try quinoa with grilled peaches, fresh ricotta and arugula with my Honey-Lime Dressing and toasted almonds.