Plating Whole Grains

Apart from the healthfulness that whole grains bring to the plate, they also introduce colors and textures. How can you capitalize on that in your plate presentation? We tapped our culinary team for ideas on how to make whole grains stand out with both drama and distinction.

mikeh.jpg"Feature whole grains on the plate in unexpected ways."

–Chef Mike Holleman, Director of InHarvest Culinary Team

  • Create a savory replacement for English muffins using leftover rice or grains in a savory batter with fresh herbs and seasonal vegetables. Feature them in eggs Benedict or offer them as a breakfast side dish.
  • Make a whole-grain hash, then pack it into a ring mold for great plate presentation.
  • For tableside soup presentation, spoon cooked whole grains into a soup bowl, then pour the soup over top in front of the customer.

jason.jpg"Make whole grains the focus"

— Chef Jason Ziobrowski, Corporate Chef InHarvest Eastern Region

Using a ring mold, plate colorful whole grains over the protein, rather than the traditional way of placing the protein over the starch. Take advantage of the awesome color contrast found in rice blends, for instance, and make them the focal point of the plate.


Coleen Donnelly"Use form and function to showcase the whole grain."

— Chef Coleen Donnelly, InHarvest K-12 Specialist

  • Use a colorful rice, like our Purple Thai Rice or Colusari™ Red Rice in a rice pudding, and serve it in a small mason jar. Top the dessert with a late-summer fruit compote.
  • Instead of a typical side of grains, try our delicious Vegetarian Quinoa Patties. Made with our White Quinoa they're a great addition to any meal. Check out our recipe here

chrisb.jpg"Think outside the plate."

— Chef Chris Bybee, InHarvest Chef Consultant

  • Wrap risotto (made with either farro or Arborio rice) or quinoa in a corn husk and tie the ends—like a fancy tamale. Prepare them beforehand, then steam until hot. They look great either plated or piled high in a basket or platter.
  • Change out a familiar presentation with whole grains. Replace Carnaroli rice typically found in a Spanish paella and replace it with black barley. The black barley is unexpected, and it adds a rich, glossy color to the dish, like in this Shrimp and Chicken Black Barley Paella.