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Nutty-tasting grains, such as wild rice, barley and wheat berries, make this simple side-dish pilaf so much more than the sum of its parts. Since the wild rice cooks faster than wheat berries and hulled barley, presoak the longer-cooking grains to make the cooking times compatible. If you would like to add fresh mushrooms, quickly sauté them and stir them into the cooked pilaf. Or try this flavor variation: Omit dill and substitute 1 teaspoon lemon zest for lemon juice. Stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese just before serving.

Source: EatingWell Magazine, March/April 2010


Recipe Summary

1 hr 30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Place wheat berries and barley in a medium bowl; cover with cold water. Let soak for at least 2 hours or up to 24 hours. Drain.

  • Place mushrooms in a small bowl and cover with 3/4 cup warm water. Let soak for 15 minutes. Lift out mushrooms with a slotted spoon. Rinse and coarsely chop. Strain the soaking liquid through a sieve lined with filter paper or cheesecloth. Reserve 1/2 cup.

  • Heat oil in a 4-quart or larger pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Add onion and celery; cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and the chopped mushrooms; cook, stirring, 10 seconds. Stir in wild rice, the wheat berries and the barley; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add broth and the reserved mushroom soaking liquid.

  • Secure the pressure cooker lid. Bring to high pressure over high heat following the manufacturer's directions. Reduce the heat to the lowest setting that maintains high pressure. Cook for 40 minutes.

  • Let the pressure release naturally. This will take 5 to 20 minutes. Add dill, parsley, lemon juice, salt and pepper to the pilaf; toss to mix and fluff the grains.

  • Conventional-Stove Variation: In Step 3, use a large saucepan instead of a pressure cooker. Increase chicken broth to 2 cups. In Step 4, simmer, covered, until the grains are tender, about 1 1/4 hours.


Equipment: 4-quart or larger pressure cooker

Notes: Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed grains of wheat. Varieties (hard, soft, spring or winter) can be used interchangeably. Labeling is inconsistent--you may find them labeled “hard red winter wheat” without the words “wheat berries.” Find them in natural-foods markets and online at kingarthurflour.com.

Hulled barley is the only type of barley considered a true whole grain. The outer husk is removed, but the bran and germ are left intact. Look for it in the bulk section of natural-foods markets. More common pearl barley is polished, a process that removes the double outer hull and bran layer. Pearl barley provides 6 grams of fiber per cup versus 14 grams for hulled barley. To substitute pearl barley for hulled barley in this recipe, cook wheat berries and wild rice at high pressure for 20 minutes. Use the cold-water release method to quickly release pressure. Add pearl barley, return to high pressure and cook 20 minutes more. Let the pressure release naturally.

High-Altitude Tip: For every 1,000 feet above 2,000 feet elevation, increase the cooking time by 5%.

Nutrition Facts

145 calories; protein 5.8g; carbohydrates 26.3g; dietary fiber 4.4g; sugars 2g; fat 2.2g; saturated fat 0.3g; vitamin a iu 221.6IU; vitamin c 6.2mg; folate 24.8mcg; calcium 22.9mg; iron 1.5mg; magnesium 30.6mg; potassium 209.6mg; sodium 248.1mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

1 1/2 starch, 1/2 vegetable