Sunday, January 10, 2010

Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Have you ever had wheat berries?

They are the entire wheat kernel, minus the hull. They are chewy yet tender when cooked and great in salads in breads, as well as a good source of dietary fiber. And who couldn't use more fiber in their diet?

I made this recipe from David Lebovitz, with a few changes since I can never leave well enough alone... or more likely forgot to pick something up at the market.

First you cook the wheat berries...

Meanwhile, roast up some winter veggies...

And cook some whole cranberries to take away their bitter taste...

Then combine the wheat berries and cranberries, with some olive oil...

And add in the rest.

I'll list my slightly altered and scaled down version of Lebovitz's recipe below. I used his method of cooking the wheat berries, but I think I'd do it differently in the future. The bin at Whole Foods suggested soaking them overnight in water, like you would with dry beans, then draining, rinsing, adding more water, and simmering for a hour. Lebovitz's recipe didn't call for soaking, and mine turned out a little more chewy than I would have preferred after an hour of cooking. I think the soaking would aid in the texture. He also has some good suggestions for other additions to the salad.

Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Vegetables

Adapted from David Lebovitz

Two to three servings

3/4 cup wheat berries
1 bay leaf
1 lb. root vegetables (I used carrots, a parsnip, and half a butternut
squash), peeled if necessary and cut into 1" cubes
1/2 of a large red onion, diced
4 Tbsp. olive oil
5 springs of fresh thyme
1 cup fresh cranberries
Salt and pepper
Lemon juice

Brie or Parmesan cheese for topping
Snipped chives for topping

Bring 5 cups of salted water to a boil and add the wheat berries and bay leaf. Cook until tender yet chewy, about 60 minutes.

Combine the cubed vegetables, onion, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and thyme on a baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper, and toss well. Roast in a 425ºF oven until cooked and browned on the outside, 20 to 30 minutes.

While the wheat berries are cooking and the vegetables are roasting, bring 2 cups of water to boil in a small pot. Add the cranberries and cook until they pop, about 10 minutes. Drain and chop.

Once the wheat berries are done drain them and remove the bay leaf. Combine in a bowl with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and the cranberries. Remove the thyme from the roasted vegetables and add the veggies to the wheat berries, along with a good squeeze of lemon juice. Combine well.

Top with some brie cheese and snipped chives, as I did above, and serve warm or room temperature. I imagine Parmesan would be quite good too and would balance the sweetness of the cranberries and roasted veggies.


Sara said...

i saw this on his site, looks so good! I like your additions ;)

Run Lori Run said...

This looks great! I have wanted to try wheat berries but didn't know how to cook them...

Simply Life said...

I love wheat berries but can never seem to find them! where did you get them from? This recipe looks great!

Misty said...

I got mine in the bulk bins at Whole Foods. You could check the natural foods section at your grocery store. I'm sure you can order them online somewhere too.