Told you guys I had something for you this Monday! Remember my summer skillet? I thought it was pretty freckin good as is: Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend with summer vegetables like zucchini and tomatoes and just a touch of white wine and basil. (OK, it WAS pretty good!)
However, I came up with a winter version (err…apparently it’s still technically autumn…) that I think might top it!
Unfortunately, I made this at night so the pictures aren’t great. But it made a delicious and festive lunch and, just like many grains, is great warm or cold.
If you haven’t had it before, this Harvest Grain Blend from TJ’s is a mix of Israeli couscous, orzo, mini garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. It’s a favorite of mine to pick up at Trader Joe’s. It has a fun combination of textures, and it’s a bit more interesting than your plain ol’ rice or quinoa.
To give it a autumnal spin, I added caramelized onions, toasted walnuts (pecans would be great too), dried cranberries, and pomegranate arils. Then I mixed in a rosemary vinaigrette and O-M-G. This was wonderful the night I made it, but it actually tasted even better the next day!
Like I said with my Summer Grain Blend, you don’t have to use the TJ’s blend…brown rice, quinoa, or traditional couscous would be great carb options for making this flavor combo. And I hope you do!
Autumn Grain Blend
serves 4 as a side dish, or 3 as a “main course”
3/4 cup Trader Joe’s Harvest Grain Blend (dry), or rice, quinoa, etc
1/4-1/3 cup walnuts
1/2 small onion
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 sprig rosemary
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp oil (I used walnut oil to stay in theme!)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Put walnuts on a baking sheet and place in oven, toasting the walnuts until they’re fragrant, about 6-8 minutes. When cooled, roughly chop the walnuts and set aside.
Meanwhile, start caramelizing your onions. Slice onion into long strips (mine were about 1.5 inches long). Heat oil in a pan on medium heat, and add onions. Stir to coat. Turn heat down to LOW and keep on cooking the onions on low heat, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent and well caramelized.
Once walnuts are done and onions have started, prepare your grain blend according to package instructions. While that’s cooking, prepare the vinaigrette: roughly chop rosemary as well as you can. Whisk together with vinegar and mustard. While whisking, slowly drizzle in as much oil as desired.
When everything is done, stir the ingredients into the grain blend one at a time: caramelized onions, followed by the dressing, then cranberries, walnuts, and pomegranate arils. Enjoy warm immediately, or chill in fridge to enjoy later.