This salad works with any whole grain but if you’re in a hurry couscous it a great option. I like the olive, cumin, and orange combination as a simple salad before a heavy Mexican, Moroccan, or East African meal. I’ve added that quick salad to whole grains and garbanzo beans for something more substantial. Great on its own for lunch or as a side dish with grilled or roasted meat or fish. And, if you’re wondering, rye has a mild nutty taste but doesn’t taste like rye bread, which gets most of its flavor from caraway seeds. - Angela @ the well-worn apron —Angela @ the well-worn apron
Test Kitchen Notes
No rye berries? Use farro, barley, wheatberries or any other whole grain sitting in your pantry -- they'll all be delicious under the tart, musky cumin-sherry vinaigrette. The rye gives the salad an addictive bouncy chew -- a great contrast with the creamy chick peas, juicy oranges and fresh, crunchy red onions. If your olives are big, consider roughly chopping them to distribute the great, cuminy bursts of brine. —Kristen Miglore
Place the rye berries and salt in a large pot, cover with 2 ½ cups water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 60-90 minutes, until tender and one quarter of the rye has split open. Add water as needed to keep the rye covered.
While rye is cooking prepare dressing. Toast cumin in a dry pan until fragrant, about 30 seconds, add olive oil and olives, sauté 1 minute or so to infuse oil and olives with the cumin. Remove from heat. In a small bowl whisk together with remaining dressing ingredients and scrape olives, oil, and cumin from pan into bowl, toss to combine (adjusting to your taste). Cover and bring to room temperature until ready to use.
Drain rye well and run under cool water to stop the grains from cooking. Transfer to a bowl; add garbanzo beans, prepared dressing and toss to combine. Chill until the mixture is completely cool, or for up to a day.
Zest one orange into the rye mixture. Peel and section both oranges and add to salad along with the red onions, and parsley. Section the orange over the salad allowing any juice to drain into the salad.