My Recipe Box

Wheatberries with Fragrant Spices, Currants & Almonds


Serves four to six as a side dish.

Yields 4 cups.

  • To learn more, read:
    Enjoying Grains
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 50

You can serve this dish as a pilaf-like side dish or as a vegetarian main dish. I also use it to stuff poultry and vegetables, such as baked red peppers and tomatoes.

  • 1/2 cup wheatberries, soaked for 4 hours or overnight
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil or unsalted butter
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped into medium dice
  • 4 scallions (white and light green parts only), chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon; more to taste
  • 1/2 cup basmati or other long-grain white rice
  • 1/3 cup dried currants or coarsely chopped raisins
  • 3/4 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1-1/2 oz. (1/3 cup) slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 Tbs. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbs. grated lemon zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Drain the wheatberries. In a small saucepan, bring the wheatberries and 3 cups salted water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until tender but pleasantly chewy, 25 to 50 minutes. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat the oil or butter in a small saucepan over medium low. Add the onion and scallions; cook until tender and translucent, about 7 minutes. Stir in the allspice, cinnamon, and rice, cook until the spices are fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes, and then add the currants or raisins, the broth, and salt to taste. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the liquid is just absorbed and the rice is tender, 12 to 15 minutes.

In a bowl, combine the wheatberries, rice mixture, and almonds. Stir in the parsley and lemon zest and adjust the salt, pepper, and cinnamon to taste.

Serving Suggestions

If you're planning to use this recipe as a stuffing, it yields enough to stuff about two 3 to 4-lb. chickens, 6 bell peppers, or 10 to 12 tomatoes.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : per 1/2 cup serving, Calories (kcal): 180, Fat (kcal): 7, Fat Calories (g): 60, Saturated Fat (g): 1, Protein (g): 5, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 4, Carbohydrates (mg): 29, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 80, Cholesterol (g): 0, Fiber (g): 5,

Photo: Mark Thomas

Excellent. Use as a side dish and don't bother stuffing peppers. Wonderful flavors.

I really enjoyed this! I skipped the peppers and added some more spice to the broth. Also added fresh lemon juice that brought out all the flavors. It will be a repeat.

Very tasty filling, but you can ditch the peppers that render it bland.

From the time I first made this recipe when I received the magazine years ago, it has been one of my top 10.

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