Don’t tell my daughter’s favorite pot — the big pasta pot she’s named Patricia — but I play favorites in my kitchen all the time.
There’s my worn, stained baking sheets — I like to think of them as well-seasoned — that I love for roasting veggies (and sometimes baking cookies on a parchment paper liner). There’s the sturdy pots I’ve been heating, boiling and stirring in for more than a decade. I have two sizes that together do all the jobs I could need.
And there’s also my collection of wooden spatulas and spoons, my preferred tools for sauteing and other stirring operations.
But I would be remiss not to mention my whisks. I have just a few of varying sizes, but I adore them each for different things. For the vinaigrette in this dish, for instance, I reached for my smallest one which is about an inch at its widest point. I love it for combining liquids for vinaigrettes like this — the tight curves work well for emulsifying.
(Patricia is a favorite too, though the combination of the pot’s size and my petite sink makes it a challenge for cleaning.)
For this Roasted Broccoli Grain Bowl with Shallot Vinaigrette I get to use several of my favorites — the worn baking sheets for roasting and a wooden spatula for stirring, the sturdy pot for cooking the grain and the whisk, of course. And with those favorites comes a fresh, boldly flavored dish that’s satisfying but still pretty simple.
To make this, you use some basic techniques.
You start by roasting the veggies with a little salt, pepper and olive oil. This brings out the sweetness of the onions and carrots and gives the broccoli a pleasant, mild flavor.
Then you whisk together a vinaigrette. I use a skinny whisk for this — my favorite one. Minced shallots, olive oil, white wine vinegar, honey and a hint of mustard come together in a tangy, rich dressing. Season it with salt and pepper.
And finally, you mix the roasted veggies with your favorite cooked grain (I used barley) and drizzle it with the vinaigrette before serving.
This dish reminds me of the ones I created for my cookbook “Grains as Mains.” When writing that, I found that batch cooking grains made it easy to use them throughout the week. Many cooked grains, including quinoa, barley and bulgar wheat, are super to cook ahead and use later. They can be tossed in salads, added to soups or used in tasty bowls like this one.
What are your kitchen favorites?
- 4 heaping cups fresh broccoli florets
- 1 medium yellow onion, quartered and thinly sliced
- 2 carrots, peeled and diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 2 cups prepared grains (such as barley, farro, quinoa or rice)
- 1 shallot, finely minced
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tsp honey
- ½ tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Arrange the broccoli, onions and carrots on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Stir.
- Bake for 20 minutes, stir and then bake for an additional 5-7 minutes, to desired doneness. I prefer them a crisp-tender with some caramelized bits. Remove from the oven.
- Combine the roasted vegetables with the prepared grains. Toss well.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the shallot vinaigrette ingredients.
- To serve, divide the vegetable mixture among plates and drizzle, as desired, with vinaigrette. Enjoy