Emmer Salad


Emmer is an ancient strain of wheat with only 28 chromosomes.  It was one of the first wheats cultivated by man. Nowadays, you can find it online from Bluebird Grain Farms. It makes a great substitute for bulghur wheat in a tabouli-like salad. The whole wheat berries are very toothsome, almost like very small beans.



  • Juice of one or two lemons
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Sumac!

Whisk this all together. It has to sit and soak a while for the sumac to open up. A crushed clove of garlic would also be good but I had enough garlic going on in this meal so I left it out. 


  • 1 1/2 cups whole emmer berries
  • Half a cucumber, quartered, seeded and sliced thin
  • A bunch of parsley, chopped
  • A bland hot house tomato, regretfully purchased and loathingly chopped
  • Half a bunch of scallions, chopped

Put the emmer in a small saucepan with 4 odd cups of water and bring to a boil. Let it boil violently for five minutes and then reduce the heat so it simmers gently for about an hour. After this time the emmer will become toothsome but not mushy (if it’s getting mushy and exploding, for the love of god turn off the heat) and most of the water will be absorbed or evaporated. Drain whatever water is left and then toss the emmer with the dressing. Leave this to marinate for as long as you want. Before serving, toss in the rest of the ingredients.

I served this with fresh pita, hummus, and awesome lamb sausages from The Wedge.

Make a meal of it

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One comment on “Emmer Salad”

  1. Amy Mom 8 February, 2009 at 7:12 pm

    Tom, that sounds really tasty. Please remember this recipe for summer fare, it sounds more like a summer dish, kind of like tabbouleh.

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