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Wheatberries with Fragrant Spices, Currants & Almonds

Mark Thomas

Yield: Yields 4 cups.

Servings: four to six as a side dish.

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

Nutritional Information

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


  • 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.

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.


Rate or Review

Reviews (4 reviews)

  • grlup | 02/20/2016

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

  • lulublu88 | 01/23/2012

    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.

  • Jason123 | 12/06/2009

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

  • Rajcakes | 05/19/2008

    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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