Sunflower seeds and brown rice pack a double nutrition punch, enhancing this side dish with both vitamin E and niacin. This recipe calls for long-cooking barley and brown rice, but if you're in a hurry, substitute instant brown rice and quick-cooking barley. Just be sure to adjust cooking times according to package directions.
4 teaspoons canola oil, divided
1/3 cup sunflower seed kernels
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
2 teaspoons butter
1 cup thinly sliced leek (about 1 large)
2 1/2 cups water
1 1/2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/2 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/2 cup brown rice blend (such as Lundberg) or brown rice
1/2 cup dried currants
1/4 cup uncooked bulgur
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons oil, sunflower seeds, and 1/4 teaspoon salt; sauté 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove from pan; set aside.
Heat pan over medium heat; add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and butter. Add leek; cook 4 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently. Add 2 1/2 cups water and next 3 ingredients (through rice); bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 35 minutes. Stir in currants and bulgur; cover and simmer 10 minutes or until grains are tender. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt, sunflower seeds, parsley, and pepper. Serve immediately.
I sauteed mushrooms with the leeks but otherwise followed exactly using 1/4 recipe for two people. Served with "Pork Medallions with Port Wine-Dried Cherry Pan Sauce" from this site (also excellent). Great meal and done in 45 minutes. with minimal prep.
This was delicious. Even my white rice loving daughter and husband enjoyed it. The sunflower seeds added a tasty crunch. It was a perfect consistency...it was done before the rest of the meal so I just let it sit on the cooktop with no heat until we were ready to eat. I used craisins rather than currents. I will definitely make this again.
This was very good and flavorful. My husband described it as "rustic". It was very creamy and somewhat porridge-like. I think it would be a good dish for a brunch or large breakfast with some eggs and fruit.