Grain salads are a versatile dish–they can be sides or mains depending on their ingredients. They’re great for any meal, and can be eaten warm, at room temperature, or cold. Leftovers can be turned into a hash or even used as a filling for lettuce or chard wraps. This recipe is a template, add some protein to make a main course, plus any other vegetables you have on hand. Peanut or other nut butter makes a good substitute for tahini. And of course, you can use other grains here, too.

1 c quinoa or other grain
4 c or so arugula or other salad green, rinsed, dried and coarsely chopped
2 medium beets, (peeled), coarsely grated
6 or so red radishes, thinly sliced
1/3 c tahini
1/2 c water or vegetable stock, plus extra if needed
2 T lemon juice
2 t grated fresh ginger, or 1/2 t ground ginger
1 t honey, agave syrup or other sweetener
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Prepare quinoa or other grain according to package instructions. If using quinoa, make sure to rinse thoroughly unless the package states that the quinoa has been pre-rinsed. Spread out on a large plate or baking sheet to cool, or if you a going to make a warm salad, let the cooked grain sit, covered, off heat.

2. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables. Combine tahini, water, ginger, honey, salt, and pepper until smooth, adding more liquid to make a pourable dressing, if needed.

3. Now, you can toss everything together in a large serving bowl or you can distribute the quinoa, arugula, beets, and radishes on a serving platter, separately or layered, ditto on individual plates, and drizzle the dressing over all.