June 19, 2011

Spring Vegetable and Rye Berry Salad

Whole grains are grass seeds, which contain endosperm, bran and cereal germ, as opposed to refined grains that consist of only endosperm, and are a great addition to any diet because they provide more protein and fiber than their refined counterparts. Cooking with whole grains does take some patience, as they require a longer cooking time due to the bran exterior, but whole grains are well worth the extra time on the stove as they have a rich, nutty and earthy flavor. The easiest way to cook whole grains such as rye, wheat or oat berries, is to boil them for 1-2 hours until they are al dente. The cooked berries can then be added to any number of recipes or eaten on their own. Whole grains mixed with vegetables, herbs and cheese make great side salads to keep on hand during the summer, as they can be eaten room temperature or cold and taste delicious with for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Spring vegetable and rye berry salad is delicious with braised lentils and socca.
Peas may be used instead of sugar snap peas. Most grain berries will work in place of rye such as wheat, oat or barley.

2 c cooked rye berries
1 medium new potato, thinly sliced into rounds
1 small leek, trimmed, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
¼ lb sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half widthwise
¼ lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
½ small red pepper, trimmed and finely diced
1 tbsp parsley, roughly copped
½ c feta
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper
leaf lettuce (optional)

1. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add potatoes and fry until golden brown on both sides, about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking. Remove the potatoes from skillet, leaving the oil in the skillet and place them in a medium-mixing bowl.
2. Reduce heat to medium, add red pepper and leeks and sauté until just cooked, about 1 minute. Remove from heat, stir in parsley and set skillet aside.
3. Place the asparagus and peas in a steamer basket with water in a small pot. Cover the pot and bring the water to a boil. Once water boils, remove vegetables from heat and place them in the bowl with the potatoes.
4. Add the rye berries and skillet ingredients to the potatoes and vegetables, gently toss to combine and season to taste with salt and pepper.
5. Sprinkle feta on top or gently toss with salad when serving. Serve salad room temperature or chilled on leaf lettuce if desired.
Serves 3-4


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