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The Splendid Grain Paperback – December 16, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Cookbooks; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (December 16, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0688166121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0688166120
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #454,725 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Rebecca Wood grew up on a family farm near Ogden, Utah. As a college graduate in the '60s, she landed in San Francisco and studied cooking with macrobiotic masters Michio and Aveline Kushi. The Splendid Grain proves that Wood's continuing holistic passion for being on intimate terms with what we eat has appeal for mainstream cooks. Philosophical, eclectic, homey, hokey, stuffed with old-fashioned values, and strewn with appealing new ideas, this is a lovingly written, thoroughly researched work. An enchanting storyteller, Wood sweeps you through interesting cultural anthropology and agricultural history, then presents an inspired collection of whole grain dishes. Recipes range from simple variations on the familiar oat pilaf, risotto, and tabouleh to tempting and imaginative barley-stuffed meatless dolmadakia. (The book is not vegetarian; meat, poultry and seafood dishes are included.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

This generous volume expands on other grains cookbooks by embracing such unusual grains as sorghum and mesquite and by offering an exhaustive collection of recipes for the grains it covers. Wood (Quinoa: The Supergrain) organizes the grains by origin (e.g., rye and oats fall under "Native European Grains"). Each grain discussed comes with a history and basic cooking and storage instructions. The section on wheat includes an impressive list of unusual and lesser-known flours (including Kamut and bolted flours) and a riff on pasta. Recipes like Yellow and Purple Bean Tabbouleh (with hazelnuts), Barley Poppy Bagels and Vietnamese Spring Rolls offer new takes on ethnic favorites. Others, such as Chinese Greens with Quinoa and Peanuts, Mango and Wild Rice Salad and Greens and Herbed Cornmeal Dumplings with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce combine flavors in unusual ways. Breakfast choices are particularly strong, encompassing Buckwheat Waffles with Peach Butter and Oat Groat Pancakes. Short notes give tips on techniques (for example, how to french cut string beans) and commonsense substitutions for exotica like buffalo meat.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

This book was definitely a winner, highly recommend.
LMS
Read all the fascinating information about each kind of grain and read the recipes, as Laurie Colwin taught me, as a good novel and not a cookbook.
Michelle Brode
The other recipes in this book are also terrific and I cannot wait to try the ones that I haven't made yet.
Monica

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

105 of 106 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 25, 1997
Format: Hardcover
I have had so much fun (and great meals) trying recipes from this book. There are so many grains available to us, besides the everyday rice and corn, but if you are like me, you don't always know what to do with them. The Splendid Grain is full of terrific ways to use locally available grains such as Quinoa, Millet, Amaranth and Wild Rice. The book also contains excellent meat recipes such as the oatmeal and spice coated "Better than fried chicken."

I took "Onions stuffed with Millet and sun-dried tomatoes" on our last camping trip and cooked them in the campfire. They were superb alongside smoked pork chops. Try the popped Amaranth cold breakfast cereal, or just sprinkle it on your next tossed salad for a boost of crunch and nutty flavor. It couldn't be easier to do. You will never make waffles with plain wheat flour again, once you try "Tef waffles" Tef tastes almost like hazelnuts, and combined with cinnamon it is truly a treat. I must say I was most amazed with the "Couscous Marmalade Torte," it is very tasty and very light (even with the whipped cream on top). It is the easiest and quickest dessert I have made in a long time, and all my guests wanted seconds!

I highly recommend The Splendid Grain, it is a terrific resource, taking you from selection, storage and the cooking methods for specific grains to delectable recipes with a new twist. Put it in your shopping basket, you won't be sorry.
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60 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Rose Hoberman on February 13, 2006
Format: Paperback
I knew nothing about this book when I checked it out of the library, except that it had recipes for some of the more unusual grains. It is only now that I looked it up on Amazon that I discovered that it won the James Beard award. I am not the least bit surprised, however, because all the recipes I have tried have been consistently delicious, wholesome, and creative. You will find very few run-of-the-mill recipes in this cookbook.

I check many cookbooks out of the library, but for many I can't find any recipes that I want to make, or if I do find recipes to try, once I make them I am generally not impressed. So I was amazed when I opened this cookbook to find so many intriguing recipes, each of which turned out better than the last.

Some highlights: The grilled millet and butternut squash cakes had so few spices I was sure they would be bland, but they weren't. They were subtle but sweet and crunchy and addictive. The millet, quinoa, and burdock pilaf again looked underseasoned, but the burdock adds a great earthy depth to the pilaf, and again, I could not stop eating this dish. Wood's recipe for Locro, a South American soup, has a large number of ingredients, but it is well worth the effort. The barley and beans that make up the bulk of this soup make it substantial and extremely filling. The celeriac is sweet and delicious, the anise seeds add a subtle mysterious note, and the roasted New Mexican chili and the kombu create a great tasty broth with more depth than a typical vegetarian soup.

The only recipe that I was disappointed in was her basic recipe for "steamed" amaranth. Wood swears it's the best way to cook amaranth, but I thought it turned out exactly the same as it always does when I cook it--gooey, but tasty.
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36 of 37 people found the following review helpful By J. Fuchs VINE VOICE on September 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Who says whole grains have to taste like health food? Rebecca Wood lays out everything you need to know about the common grains (oat, wheat, barley, rice), the not-so-common (quinoa, millet, amaranth, buckwheat) and the downright rarely eaten in this country (tef, Job's tears). For each one she explains how/where it is grown, how to buy and store it, what it is used for, its nutritional advantages, etc. She gives basic recipes for cooking the grains plain or nearly so, as well as more complicated recipes and suggestions for what to pair with what. The chapters are divided first by the continent to which each grain is native and then by the grains themselves, and then for each grain there are recipes for plain grains, soups, main dishes, side dishes and desserts. I like this organization, although if you want to make a whole grain dessert, for instance, you'll have to look through the chapters on the various grains or in the index, as there is no organization by type of dish, e.g., soups, desserts, etc. The intros to each dish give you a good idea of what to expect, the instructions are pretty clear, and the results are spectacular. The Winter Squash and Quinoa Pottage is amazingly great (especially if you make it with homemade stock -- it is particularly awesome using the vegetable stock recipe from The New Basics Cookbook, but was also good with Swanson low-sodium chicken broth), is ridiculously easy, and extremely high in protein and vitamins. Just wash the quinoa really well first. Takes less than 1/2 hour plus the time to wash the quinoa and cut the onion and squash. The pinon (pine nut) crackers with amaranth are all whole grain, super easy and the only problem with it is that it's hard not to eat the entire batch myself as soon as it's done.Read more ›
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. Steagall on September 23, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book is layed out by grain, making it easy to navigate, and has a good range of recipe-types (main dishes, breads, desserts, breakfasts). The recipes are healthy in a very holistic and balanced way.

I have already tried several recipes, all of which I was extremely pleased with- they were easy, and delicious. I can't wait to keep cooking from this book, it will surely be turned to again and again.
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