The less obvious ancient wheats like bulgur, spelt, kamut and buckwheat, and grains like barley, millet, quinoa and amaranth have become foodies’ favorites. Most of them are now available in supermarkets and all of them can be bought online.

I’ve been experimenting a bit with them, and there is no doubt that mixed grains make a great alternative to plain rice, are good in a risotto and make an interesting salad. This recipe requires cooked grains; here we have used bulgur wheat and quinoa, but you could use any mixture you like. If you’re using several kinds, boil or steam them separately if they require different cooking times. Alternatively, for an even easier salad, use the pre- cooked mixed grains in ambient pouches that you can buy in the supermarket.

prue leith

Prue and her niece Peta Leith will discuss their new cookbook The Vegetarian Kitchen with The Spectator on December 1

Ingredients

75g quinoa (raw weight)
75g bulgur wheat (raw weight)
2 red peppers, deseeded and cut into strips
10 baby plum tomatoes or cherry tomatoes, halved
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 2 tbsp vegetable oil
21⁄2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 4 tsp harissa paste
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
8 green olives, pitted and halved
60g feta, crumbled
a small handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1⁄4 lemon
salt and pepper to season

How to make