Laurie David’s Oven Grains with Cheese CELEB CHEF

PHOTO: Maryellen Baker


PHOTOS BY MARYELLEN BAKER FOR WHERE WOMEN COOK Laurie David accomplishes much in her Los Angeles home. She produces Academy Award-winning films. She blogs for the Huffington Post. She works on behalf of environmental causes. And she cooks with her kids. “A decade ago, as a young mom with two little girls, I started doing daily family dinners,” she says. “At that time, I didn’t know about the amazing research proving that everything a parent is concerned about can be improved by sitting down to dinner. I started regular family meals because I wanted us purposely to be a family.” The trick worked, she says, keeping the family close, even through a divorce. Her kids even learned to like more vegetables. David writes about her experience and recipes in her cookbook, The Family Dinner, and has shared one of her favorite dishes below.

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PHOTO: Maryellen Baker

Oven Grains, Greens, and Cheese, Please
Serves: 6 servings
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
  • salt + pepper
  • 2 bunches kale, chopped
  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, chopped
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg beaten
  • squeeze of lemon
  • 6 cups milt-tasting grains, cooked (quinoa, barley, wheat berries)
  • 6 cups tomato sauce, plus extra to serve on the side
  • 2 cups mixed cheeses (soft goat, mozzarella, fontina)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add enough oil to cover bottom.
  3. Sauté onions, garlic, and mushrooms until soft and golden. Season with salt and pepper, and add to a bowl.
  4. In a large pot or pan with a lid, steam greens until tender, 4–5 minutes (you might have to do this in a couple of batches).
  5. Place cooked greens in a clean dishtowel or salad spinner and wring out excess water.
  6. Toss greens with Parmesan cheese and egg. Season with lemon, salt, and pepper.
  7. Layer the ingredients like a lasagna. Put a layer of grains in your baking dish, top with tomato sauce, add a layer of greens, the mushrooms and onions, and a layer of the mixed cheeses. Repeat and finish with a layer of tomato sauce and cheese.
  8. Cover dish with foil or a lid, and bake until bubbling, about 35 minutes. Remove lid, and bake for an additional 10 minutes.
  9. Serve with extra tomato sauce and a simple green salad.


PHOTO: Maryellen Baker

PHOTO: Maryellen Baker

“Cook it on a Saturday when you have family visiting, or on a Tuesday just to make yourself happy,” Laurie David writes. “Make this into your very own family recipe! Use your favorite grain, or try a new one. The recipe suggests some greens and cheeses, but experiment with any you have on hand and love. If you are pressed for time, use 2 pounds of your favorite frozen greens instead of the fresh ones and skip the steaming step, but make sure you wring out all the moisture.”

PHOTO: Maryellen Baker

PHOTO: Maryellen Baker

Ogden, UT

Where Women Cook explores the heart of the home, the kitchen, through the stories of women who are passionate about food. This quarterly magazine shares the delicious recipes, beautiful kitchen decor, entertaining ideas, and inspirational journeys of extraordinary women.

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