Wheat Berry Salad

8 Dec

Recipe source: Barefoot Contessa Family Style

Considering my recent obsession with wheat berries, I’m happy for any recipes I can find using them. These little gems are an incredibly healthy source of fiber and a great start to a lot of my weekdays, but they are beautiful in salads as well. Their nutty flavor and chewy texture is about as far from lettuce as you can get, so if you’re jonesing for something new, try this!

Cook the wheat berries, either using Ina’s method for a small batch below, or the method in my Wheat Berry Breakfast Bowl post for a large batch (these keep fine in the fridge for a week or two). Set aside, then saute red onion in olive oil, add wheat berries, balsamic vinegar, and freshly ground black pepper back to bowl, and stir to coat berries.

wheat berries & red onion

To this mixture, off the heat, toss in diced scallions, red bell pepper, and carrot (or any other combination of veggies you like). Leave the salad to marinate for a few hours and serve at room temperature. Although the recipe doesn’t call for it, I also added feta cheese to my salad. Because, as Ina would say, how bad can that be?!

wheat berry salad

RECIPE – Wheat Berry Salad

My friend Brent Newsom devised this hearty salad. Wheatberries are a nutty grain that we use to make breads and salads. There are several different types, but hard winter wheatberries don’t get mushy when they’re cooked. If you can’t find them in the grocery store, try your local health food store. They’re delicious, and so good for you!

1 cup hard winter wheat berries
Kosher salt
1 cup finely diced red onion (1 onion)
6 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 scallions, minced, white and green parts
1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
1 carrot, small diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the wheat berries and 3 cups of boiling salted water in a saucepan and cook, uncovered, over low heat for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain.

Sauté the red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.In a large bowl, combine the warm wheat berries, sautéed onions, scallions, red bell pepper, carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the wheat berries to absorb the sauce. Season, to taste, and serve at room temperature.

Serves 6

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