Mixed Grains Recipe with Asparagus, Favas, Watercress and Pine Nuts

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Photo by Erin Scott
With its mix of hearty, gluten-free grains, Mixed Grains with Asparagus, Favas, Watercress and Toasted Pine Nuts makes a perfect spring meal.


  • 1/2 cup amaranth
  • 1/2 cup millet
  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • Sea salt
  • 2 pounds fresh favas in their pods
  • 1 pound asparagus spears, tough ends removed
  • 2 1/2 cups watercress, divided
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 3/4 cup pecorino or Parmesan, grated
  • 3/4 to 1 cup pine nuts, toasted


  • Place amaranth, millet and quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer and rinse thoroughly. Transfer to a large saucepan or small stockpot. Cover with 2-1⁄2 cups water and soak for 30 minutes.
  • Place saucepan over high heat, add a pinch of salt and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
  • While grains cook, fill a stockpot with water and add a generous amount of salt. Shuck favas, then blanch asparagus spears and favas for 2 to 5 minutes, until just tender.
  • Plunge cooked vegetables into an ice bath. When cool enough to handle, pop favas from their skins. Drain asparagus and slice spears into bite-size pieces.5. Using a mortar and pestle or food processor, puree 2 cups watercress, garlic, olive oil, lemon zest and lemon juice. Season with salt to taste.
  • When grains are cooked, remove from heat and let rest 5 minutes.
  • Transfer grains to a large serving bowl. Add favas and asparagus, pour puree over grains and veggies, and stir to coat. Stir in most of the grated cheese, then add salt to taste.8. Top with remaining watercress, toasted pine nuts and another dusting of cheese. Find more recipes and inspiration from Erin Scott in Bite of Life on the West Coast.

Enjoy a hearty spring meal when you pair this mix of gluten-free grains with garden fresh asparagus and toasted pine nuts.

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