The Grain Game


The jiggle of the gauge on my mother's old pressure cooker is one of the enduring memories I have of her kitchen. As a single girl in New York City, I forgot all about pressure cookers, but when I entered the married-with-kids phase of my life, I suddenly noticed the shiny new ones redesigned with plenty of safety releases (a great thing, because my mother had one or two incidents with soup on the ceiling). For many years now, I've relied on the pressure cooker for chicken soup, stock, and beans—but not much else. Then I checked out Lorna Sass's many books on pressure cookers and was bowled over by all I was missing out on. Inspired by the barley risotto with wild mushroom in Sass's latest book, Whole Grains Every Day Every Way, I applied her pressure-cooker timing to my regular stove-top version with asparagus and hazelnuts that appears in our April issue, and it worked like a charm. It worked so well, in fact, that I'm totally converted to the pressure cooker for barley. I've even upgraded to the WMF Perfect Plus, and I couldn't be happier. If you are trying to eat more whole grains but dread the time involved, it will be a worthy addition to your kitchen, too.

Subscribe to Gourmet