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
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.