Rye Berry and Carrot Salad With Celery, Cilantro, and Marcona Almonds Recipe (2024)

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A hearty salad with rye berries, tender carrots, onions, cilantro, celery, and toasted Marcona almonds in a simple olive oil vinaigrette.


J. Kenji López-Alt

Rye Berry and Carrot Salad With Celery, Cilantro, and Marcona Almonds Recipe (1)

J. Kenji López-Alt

Culinary Consultant

Kenji is the former culinary director for Serious Eats and a current culinary consultant for the site. He is also a New York Times food columnist and the author of The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science.

Learn about Serious Eats'Editorial Process

Updated September 27, 2023

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Rye Berry and Carrot Salad With Celery, Cilantro, and Marcona Almonds Recipe (2)

Why It Works

  • Cooking the carrots whole and slicing them only after they get tender gives you both better flavor and texture.
  • Toasted Marcona almonds add some crunch to complement the rye berries' chewiness.

Some of my favorite recipes are born not of conscientious effort but from accidental circ*mstances. Take this carrot and grain salad, for instance. Did I head up to New Hampshire last weekend for a ski getaway andplanon sticking all these ingredients together? Not exactly. But as it turned out, there were some fantastic-looking little carrots at the supermarket and the house we were staying in had a stray bag of wheat berries hanging out that looked like it could use some buddies.

Ok, I lied: the accidental circ*mstances led to the first iteration of this salad, but it was delicious enough that it deserved some subsequent conscientious effort to whip into publish-able state.

On my first run-through, I cut up the carrots before cooking them, but I found that you get more even cooking and better flavor retention if you cook the carrots whole, slicing them only after they get tender. In place of wheat berries, I used rye berries, a delicious grain thatNiki introduced me to as part of a long-term research project she was working on. I simmer them with a bay leaf until they're tender but not bursting out of their hulls.

Celery and onions have always been here, but rather than dicing them, I settled on thinly slicing them to give them a bit more textural significance. The cilantro and bright mustard, lemon, vinegar, and olive oil-based dressing made the final cut as well.

Finally, toasted Marcona almonds add some crunch to complement the rye berries' chewiness.

I've been accused of focusing on junk food kick here on The Vegan Experience.Nachos,mac and cheese, andfried plantains with guacamoleare all super-tasty fare, but not exactly the cornerstone of a healthy diet. Hopefully this hearty meal-sized salad will satisfy your whole grain and vegetable cravings.

This recipe was originally published as part of the column "The Vegan Experience."

February 2014

Recipe Details

Rye Berry and Carrot Salad

Active15 mins

Total60 mins

Serves4 servings


  • 1 1/2 cups dried rye berries (see note)

  • 2 bay leaves

  • Kosher salt

  • 1 pound small carrots

  • 1 cup marcona almonds, roughly chopped

  • 2 teaspoonswhole grain or Dijon mustard

  • 1 medium garlic clove, minced (about 1 teaspoon)

  • 2 teaspoons juice from 1 lemon

  • 2 teaspoons balsamicor sherry vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 2 stalks celery, peeled, and thinly sliced on a bias

  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced

  • 1/4 cup chopped freshcilantro leaves

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Place rye berries in a medium saucepan and cover with water by 2 inches. Add 1 bay leaf and season heavily with salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until rye berries are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain in a fine mesh strainer and run under cool water until well chilled. Discard bay leaf. Place strainer over a large bowl and let drain for at least 15 minutes.

  2. While rye berries cook, place carrots and remaining bay leaf bay leaf in a large saucepan and cover with cold water by 1 inch. Season heavily with salt. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce to a simmer, and cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain under cold running water and peel by rubbing skin off under running water. Cut carrots into 1- to 1/2-inch chunks on a bias. Set aside.

  3. Toast almonds in a medium skillet over medium heat, tossing frequently, until nutty brown and dark in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

  4. Combine mustard, garlic, lemon juice, vinegar, and olive oil in a large bowl and whisk to combine. Add drained rye berries, carrots, almonds, celery, onion, and cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss gently with your hands until the salad is coated in the dressing. Serve immediately or store in a sealed container for up to 3 days.


Wheat berries or barley can be used in place of rye berries.

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
29g Fat
44g Carbs
14g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g38%
Saturated Fat 3g15%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 704mg31%
Total Carbohydrate 44g16%
Dietary Fiber 12g44%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 7mg37%
Calcium 157mg12%
Iron 3mg18%
Potassium 742mg16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Rye Berry and Carrot Salad With Celery, Cilantro, and Marcona Almonds Recipe (2024)
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