Before starting this blog, I would post recipes on various other sites on the internet. In the interest of compiling all my food postings on one site, I repreint them here. Originally posted 3 February 2007.
Wash, chop, and wash again the white part of a leek, the green part of a green onion (of course, I save the bulb for soup), and two small fennel bulbs. (Use cultivated fennel for cooking as an ingredient. Wild fennel is much stronger-tasting and stringier to eat; it's great for adding flavor, but should not be eaten directly, except as something to pick from the side of the road and suck on like sugar cane. The spindly leaves of the fennel stock should be saved for a soup, or dried and included in a bouquet garni.)
Sauté the aromatics in olive oil at the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan. When veggies have started to tenderize, add one cup rye berry, a small handful of salt, and two cups warm water, in which you've dissolved two ice-cubes worth of concentrated vegetable stock. Cover, bring to boil, reduce to simmer, and cook fifty minutes to an hour, until the liquid has been absorbed or has evaporated.
Rye berry has fantastic flavor, marries well to Provençal aromatics, and keeps its crunch after being cooked. (For even more crunch, you can also briefly toast the berries in the hot oil before adding the water.) Like other cooked grains, when done, remove from heat but keep covered; the berries will keep their warmth for some time.