Barley has a nutty flavor and toothsome texture that is delicious in pilafs and holds up well in soups.

Barley has a nutty flavor and toothsome texture that is delicious in pilafs and holds up well in soups.

Cook it: Bring 1 cup barley and 21/2 cups water or broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender, 35-50 minutes. Makes 3 to 31/2 cups.

Brown rice has been minimally processed, just enough to sort and remove the inedible outer husk, leaving the nutritious outer bran layer intact.

Cook it: Bring 1 cup rice and 21/2 cups water or broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 40-50 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. Makes 3 cups.

Bulgur is made by parboiling, drying and coarsely grinding or cracking wheat berries. Don't confuse bulgur with cracked wheat.

Cook it: Bring 1 cup bulgur and 11/2 cups water or broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 10-15 minutes. Makes 21/2 to 3 cups.

Farro has a satisfying chewy texture and nutty flavor. It can be used in baked goods and soups.

Cook it: Combine 1 cup farro and 2 cups water or broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, until the farro is tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 3 cups.

Millet is a grain with a mild nutty flavor, which can be enhanced by toasting the millet before cooking. It does not contain gluten, so may be tolerated by some people with celiac disease.

Cook it: Bring 21/2 cups water or broth to a boil; add 1 cup millet. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender, 20-25 minutes. Makes 3 cups.

Quinoa is a delicately flavored grain that was a staple in the ancient Incan diet. Quinoa seeds grow on a plant similar to amaranth — it's not a grass like other cereal grains — and its leaves are edible.

Cook it: Bring 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups water or broth to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Fluff with a fork. Makes 2 cups.

Spelt is a cereal grain with a mild nutty flavor. It has a higher protein content than standard wheat, but it is a member of the wheat family and contains gluten. While some people with celiac disease seem to tolerate spelt, it is not considered safe for celiac sufferers.

Cook it: Bring 2 cups water or broth to a boil; add 1 cup spelt. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Makes 3 cups.

Wild rice is not a rice at all, but rather the only aquatic-derived grain native to North America.

Cook it: Cook 1 cup rice in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water — at least 4 cups — until tender, 45-55 minutes. Drain. Makes 2 to 21/2 cups.

— Food Network Kitchens