Thursday, June 17, 2010

Rye Berry and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Cherries

Waste not, want not; that is on my mind every time I step into the kitchen these days. It’s something I’ve considered for a long time but the challenge posed by One Hot Stove has encouraged me to keep track of some of the things I’ve been doing about it.  Here’s my latest creation, inspired by the recipe for Brown & Wild Rice and Barley Salad with Chick Peas from dinner by Julie and the folks at Foodie Fights.  I purchased some whole rye berries for the Rye and Cherry battle they hosted last week but I did not use them in the recipe I entered into battle.  I had everything on hand I needed to make the recipe post here.
According to Mark Bittman in his book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian this grain is popular in Eastern Europe and Russia. He says it’s very tasty but under appreciated here and that it can fill in for any whole grain you like. Replace it in recipes that use every thing from bulgur to wheat berries and even quinoa.  The cooking time on whole grains varies greatly and it’s best to taste it as you go to see if it’s done to your liking. I think next time I’ll cook the rye longer and allow more of the kernels to open. They were al dente this time and I liked them but some of my taste testers would have liked them cooked a little longer.
Two more thoughts:
Next time add one large punch of parsley, chopped. This was in Julie’s recipe but I didn’t have any here so I skipped it. I think the fresh greenness would be a welcome addition.
Rye berries don’t taste like rye bread.  I think it’s the caraway seeds that give the bread it’s distinct flavor, not the rye.
Rye Berry and Garbanzo Bean Salad with Cherries
1 cup rye berries
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained

1/3 cup dried cherries

¼ cup chopped toasted pecans plus 2 tablespoons for garnish
2 oranges

1/2 cup parsley, coarsely chopped

2 Tbsp. sherry vinegar

2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. mustard

1 tsp. curry paste or powder
Place the rye berries and salt in a large pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for about 60-90 minutes, until just tender. Add water as needed to keep the rye covered. Drain well and run under cool water to stop the grains from cooking. Transfer to a bowl and add the garbanzo beans and raisins.
Whisk together all the dressing ingredients (adjusting them if you like to suit your taste) and pour over top. Chill until the mixture is completely cool, or for up to a day.
Zest one orange into the rye mixture. Peel and section both oranges and add to the salad along with the green onions, parsley, and ¼ cup pecans. Garnish with remaining pecans and serve.


  1. The leftovers didn't last until bedtime! (And that's a good-looking bowl ...)

  2. Rye berries are new to me but they look so plump and chewy! The whole salad just looks fantastic and brimming with nutrition. Thanks very much for your entry :)

  3. Hi Angela;

    Thanks for giving me the vote over at foodie fights for the trout recipe. Let me know if you want me to walk you through the printable recipe instruction. You can contact me through one of my blogs: or


  4. This looks like a great side! Can't wait to try it out!