Cereal for Dinner: Beacon Hill Bistro’s Josh Lewin Teaches Us How to Puff Grains

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Photo by Scott M. Lacey

To add texture to their plates, local chefs have gotten creative with puffed ancient grains such as quinoa, wheat, and spelt. At Beacon Hill Bistro, for instance, Josh Lewin uses popped rye berries to lend crunch to a dish of hake with kombu broth. Follow these simple steps from Lewin to give your salads and pastas extra bite.

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Illustrations by Liz Noftle

1. Soak heartier, long-cooking grains (like wheat berries, spelt, or rye berries, but not quick-cooking grains like farro) overnight.

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2. Simmer the grains until halfway cooked (about 20 minutes) to impart moisture to the inside of the kernels.

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3. Spread the grains out on a sheet pan, and allow the exterior of the kernels to dry overnight.

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4. Cook the grains in a 500-degree oven until popped, about two to three minutes. Toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper.