Monday, September 05, 2005

Kitchen Sink Wheat Berry Salad

Wheat Berries make a good base for a cool end of summer salad when it is hot outside and the kitchen is full of ripe produce and fresh herbs. Making the berries takes a bit of forethought because they need to soak for 8 hours, but once they are prepared, pretty much any combination of vegetables, herbs and dressings can turn them into a meal.

Cooked wheat berries
1 cup wheat
3 1/2 cups water

Rinse the wheat berries and put them in a covered pot to soak in the water for at least 8 hours. Use the soaking water to cook them. Bring them to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, until tender, about one hour. Drain.

Kitchen Sink Wheat Berry Salad
Cooked wheat berries
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
About 3/4 cup each diced bell pepper (orange), Persian cucumber, zucchini
3 green onions, sliced into thin rings
A big handful each of chopped mint and parsley
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, sliced into thin strips
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/2 cup Bulgarian sheep's milk feta cheese

1/4 cup roasted walnut oil (I would use EVOO next time)
1 Tbsp champagne vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt, Pepper

Smash garlic with blade of knife, sprinkle with salt, mince and smash with knife until mostly a paste. Scrape into a bowl, add mustard and vinegars, mix well. Drizzle in oil, whisking madly. Add pepper, stir. Pour over salad ingredients, stir well.

I served it with some homemade Swedish Limpa Bread from a James Beard recipe. I will talk about that more some other time.


Jennifer said...

I love wheatberries. Don't you think they are so underrated?

Suebob said...

Yes! I read about couscous recipes all the time, and wheatberries work in the same types of recipes but are SOOOO much better!

Joe said...

Funny, I made a wheat berry salad tonight too! The recipe did not call for pre-soaking though - just simmering for an hour. Turned out pretty good!

The Zen Foodist said...

I've never cooked with wheatberries before, but you just may have inspired me to try them. The pine nuts and bell pepper are also quite compelling.

Just found your site tonight through Food Porn Watch, but I'll be back!

Suebob said...

Dear Joe and Zen Foodist,

Thanks for visiting!

I will try making wheat berries without soaking. It would be A LOT easier.