Thursday, June 28, 2012

Avocado and Apricot Rye Berry Salad


Rye berries are something new for me.  I recently discovered them through Bluebird Grain Farms, in Winthrop, WA.


Last fall we bought a small cabin in Winthrop, and we now head over the mountains from Seattle to enjoy the Methow Valley whenever possible. Besides totally fulfilling my Little House on the Prairie dreams, spending time in Winthrop has exposed me to the Valley’s incredible food scene. We are not far from the Bluebird Grain Farms, and their organic, heirloom grains are one of my happy finds.  Given my love of whole grains, this is not a surprise!  In particular, I appreciate the chewy texture and hearty, earthy flavor of rye berries.


When I first cooked up a pot of rye berries, I ate some for breakfast with maple syrup, blueberries and a spoonful of thick yogurt – a delicious diversion from my usual morning oatmeal.  I then began thinking of other dishes I could create ...


Creamy avocados and fresh apricots were sitting on the kitchen counter so I began chopping.  From there, I added a bit of crunch with pistachios, a hint of sweetness from maple syrup and some mint and lime to brighten the salad up.  These flavors and textures are truly delightful together.


The salad makes a lovely light lunch or side dish for a barbecue. You could even add a dollop of yogurt for breakfast!

Avocado and Apricot Rye Berry Salad
Serves 4-6

1 cup rye berries
3 cups water
2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 large avocados, diced
3 apricots, diced
3 tablespoons fresh mint, finely chopped
1/4 cup pistachios, toasted and roughly chopped

Combine the rye berries, water and 1 teaspoon kosher salt in a medium sized sauce pan. Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat. Simmer for about 25 minutes, until rye berries are soft. Drain any remaining water and set aside to cool (can be made ahead).

Whisk together the syrup, olive oil, lime juice and remaining 1 teaspoon of salt. Spoon the rye berries into a serving bowl. Add the avocados, apricots, mint and pistachios. Drizzle the dressing over and toss gently. Serve immediately.

16 comments:

  1. I'm a little sad I just ate my last apricot. (Not to worry, the market will surely sell me more.) This salad sounds really wonderful!

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    1. Thank you, Molly! I haven't eaten nearly enough apricots yet this season and I need to grab some more, too.

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  2. I've never tried rye berries. I will now! Thanks. :)

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    1. My pleasure, Aunt B - I hope you enjoy them! Emmer farro is another one of Bluebird's grains that I am loving.

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  3. Lately I've seen a lot of apricot recipes, mostly baked goods. I love that you used it for salad with avocado! ONly thing I'm not familiar with is rye berries. It sounds very healthy! I will look out for it.

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    1. I hope you find some rye berries, Nami - they are quite healthy and delicious. I think you'll enjoy them! I haven't done any baking with apricots yet, so I'd better start while they are still in season! I love to make an apricot clafouti.

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  4. Beautiful salad! I love incorporating grains in salads, yet I've never tried rye berries. Must try.

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    1. Thank you, Lynda! The chewy, popping texture of the rye berries makes them a nice addition to salads. I hope you enjoy them!

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  5. I have been wanting to check out Winthrop, but haven't yet. Your Little House reference might have just tipped the scales for me. Used to love those books!

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    1. Oh, you should plan a visit this summer, Erina! Let me know if you do. I think you'd have a lot of fun. Plus, it's hot and sunny in Winthrop, so if we start having damp, chilliness in Seattle it's a terrific escape.

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  6. Oh man! Now that flavor is going to be in my head till the longest time. YUM! :-)

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  7. Lovely, lovely, lovely. Great flavors! Another new thing to add to my list - rye berries. Are they like barley?

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    1. Thank you so much, Lisa! Yes, rye berries are a little like barley with their chewy texture, but barley is a little sweeter in flavor. Barley is another of my favorite grains!

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  8. This is going on the must-try list. It has so many of my favorite things all in one package! I'm going to spend the summer collecting lots of new salad recipes. If it's going to be 100 degrees for the next three months, I don't want anything warm to eat! :-)

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    1. Oh wow, you definitely need lots of salads in your repertoire, Lauren! I hope you enjoy this one. You can cook the rye berries at night and have a stash in your fridge for the hot days. Hope you stay cool!

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