This salad was on my dinner list for the week Fiona decided to make her early entrance.
I ended up making it a week or so after her arrival and, while there are really no pictures, I HAVE to share my new love of wheat berries.
I’m a texture person. I love crunchy, chewy stuff. Granola, nuts in my cookies, bulgur in my soup – I love it.
These little suckers, these “wheat berries,” are probably my new favorite food staple.
What are they, you ask?
Wheat berries are the whole wheat kernel – a true whole grain!
Since the kernel is left intact, the wheat berry has not been stripped of its nutrients and is a great source of fiber, protein and iron.
Wheat berries are short and brown, similar to rice, and have a chewy, nutty flavor when cooked.
And oh, you can use them in so many, many ways!
I came across this recipe on myrecipes.com and, since it has my favorite ingredients in it, decided to give it a whirl, with my own small alterations.
The only issue I had was actually finding wheat berries – we found them at Whole Foods (where I should have looked in the first place!)
To prepare the wheat berries:
Place in a medium bowl and cover with water (at least 2 inches above the grain)
Let sit for 8 hours
Drain and rinse.
Place in saucepan, cover with water (at least 2 inches above the grain) and bring to a boil
Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for one hour
Drain and rinse with cold water
(I like to do these steps the day before and put the berries in the refrigerator until I am ready to use them)
To the wheat berries add:
2 1/2 cups chopped cucumber
2/3 cup thinly sliced green onions
6 tablespoons minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
5 tablespoons minced fresh basil
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
(can also add 1 cup arugula)
In a separate bowl mix:
the zest and juice of 1 large lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Add dressing to salad and let sit, at room temperature, for 30 minutes
Before serving mix in 3-4 ounces crumbled goat cheese!