Pack extra flavour, texture and interest into your dishes simply by adding grains and pulses – Marc Weir shows you how.

Many of my recipes feature some sort of grains or pulses. Adaptable for any time of the year, they can be eaten hot or cold and with many variations of ingredients that can be substituted or added to with what is in season. Most grains are simple to cook either by an absorption method or simply by placing them in water or stock, bringing them to the boil, simmering until cooked then draining. Cooked grains hold well in the fridge for up to four days, which means you can cook extra, serve them later and make another variation or a quick side dish or base for your next meal.

What’s my favourite grain? If I had to choose one, farro would be my first love. It’s hearty and wholesome with a chewy texture and a nutty flavour. I enjoy it all year long as a kitchen staple. If you have never tried it before, now is the time to use it for a seasonal grain-based salad.

A favourite way to use grains and pulses in a dish is to mix them up. The options and combinations are endless – that’s the beauty of grains. It could be anything from using two grains in a dish or up to four different grains; all that needs to be thought about is colour, texture and shape. The end result will be something delicious and interesting mixed with plenty of fresh herbs and, in all honesty, whatever you have on hand.

As an eager cook of grains, I celebrate their diversity and give life to both ancient and contemporary grains. At home you too can celebrate grains – I know you won’t regret it.