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RYE: Steamed Rye Berries

Steamed Rye Berries

From the Splendid Grain by Rebecca Wood

Makes about 3 cups

I would never sit down to a bowl of plain rye berries, unless, that is, they were first pan-toasted.  Then they can serve as a filling start to the day.  I don’t cook rye berries with salt as it seems to toughen them, but I do season the dish with a sprinkle of gomasio when ready to serve.  You can add cooked rye berries to a salad or casserole.  At Shakefork Community Farm, we’ve mixed them with veggies, ground pork, and spices for an excellent squash stuffing and served them with milk and honey for breakfast.

Ingredients:

1 cup rye berries

2 cups water or stock

sea salt, to taste

I tablespoon unrefined sesame oil or unsalted butter (optional)

           

Directions:

Heat a saucepan or wok over high heat until hot.  Add the rye berries and toast, stirring constantly, for 4 to 5 minutes, or until the berries have turned a shade darker.  (Kind-of like popping Ethiopian barley!)  Remove from the heat.  Pour into a strainer and rinse under running water for 5 seconds or so.  Drain the rye, put in a medium saucepan, add the water and let soak for 1 hour or overnight.  Bring rye, soaking water, salt, and oil, if using, to a boil over high heat.  Lower the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, or until tender.  Serve hot.  Put any leftover rye in a glass bowl, loosely cover with a cotton cloth, and leave out at room temperature for up to 24 hours.  Within a few hours of cooking, the rye may be used in salad; thereafter, use in a stir-fry, stuffing, casserole, or stew. 

Note: You may notice small black seeds scattered in Shakefork whole rye berries.  These seeds are vetch and totally harmless to eat; they are related to peas.  You may hand clean to remove or just cook them up with the berries for added protein!

 

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