Rye Berry Salad with Chickpeas, Preserved Lemon, and Pumpkin Seeds
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 at 11:36AM
Mark Scarbrough

There's so much to love about whole grains. They exit the stomach slowly, so you stay sated longer. They can help regulate blood sugar levels. They can even help cut down on dental plaque. But more to our point as two cookbook writers with twenty titles under our belts, whole grains are just so darn delicious.

So it amazes us that they can fly under the radar. Sure, everybody knows the benefits of whole-grain toast for breakfast. But we're talking whole grains on their own, the very point of a meal. They are, without a doubt, the gourmet ingredient hiding in plain sight. Which is why our new book is so very exciting. Look to the right to learn more about it--and whole grains like rye berries.

Yep, the grain that makes rye flour--except unadulterated with a wonderful, sassy taste and a sweet/sour mix in every bite. Rye berries are the very point of this salad. This recipe's original to this blog, but there are plenty more in our new book. We want everyone excited about whole grains! So let's get to the recipe.

First, soak 1 1/2 cups (285 grams) rye berries overnight in a big bowl of water on the counter. You'll improve their texture dramatically. (You want to learn more about rye berries? Click here. Or check them out at any large supermarket that carries lots of whole grains.)

Drain the rye berries in a colander set in the sink, then pour the rye berries into a large saucepan. Fill it about two-thirds with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer until the grains are tender, about 1 hour. Drain again in that colander in the sink and rinse the grains with cool tap water until they are room temperature.

Pour the rye berries into a big serving bowl and add 1 3/4 cups (350 grams) drained and rinsed canned chickpeas, 1/2 cup (50 grams) shelled green pumpkin seeds, and the minced flesh of 1 small Moroccan preserved lemon.

Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves, 3 tablespoons (45 ml) pistachio oil, 3 tablespoons (45 ml) olive oil, 3 tablespoons (45 ml) white balsamic vinegar, and 2 teaspoons curry powder. Stir it up and chow down. Now you'll, too, be amazed that rye berries could ever be a forgotten whole grain--and you'll understand how they can be the very center of a meal.

Article originally appeared on bruceandmark (http://www.bruceandmark.com/).
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