Friday, January 4, 2013

Favorite Recipe for Wheat Berry Salad

Something about winter screams wheat berries to me. Their dense, nutty flavor gets me every time, and they are so versatile. You can prepare them for breakfast, similar to how you would make oatmeal, or you could make them as a side dish like rice, or even toss them into a salad or wrap.

My favorite way to eat them is as "salad" that you scoop up with warm tortilla chips. And after trying a few different recipes, I wound up tweaking Barefoot Contessa's original recipe. The best part is it's super easy to make, requires minimal clean up, and one batch can last all week.

Wheat Berry Salad

1 cup hard/dry winter wheat berries
1 cup finely diced red onion
6 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
3 tablespoons good balsamic vinegar
5 scallions, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
2 carrots, finely diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Salt to taste

Rinse and drain the wheat berries.

Place the wheat berries into a medium saucepan and add 3 cups of water.

Bring to a boil, then cook, uncovered, on low heat for about 45 minutes or until soft (not mushy!).

Sauté your red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Turn off heat and add remaining 4 tablespoons of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.

In a large bowl, combine the warm wheat berries, sautéed onions, scallions, red pepper, carrot, and pepper.

Let it sit for 30 minutes, then season with salt and extra pepper as needed.

Serve at room temperature.

Alternatively, you can just cover it and store it in the fridge until you are ready to eat.

You can eat this as a side dish with a fork, or scoop it up with tortilla chips like a dense salsa.

Do you love wheat berries? How do you prepare them? Please tell me in the comments section below!

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  1. Jess I finally made this - my first time trying wheat berries. I found them at Giant Eagle, made by Bob's Red Mill. They were only $4.99. I didn't have scallions (except in the garden still, but it's raining so I didn't go pick them), so I used a whole red onion. I threw it in the food processor; same w/the carrots. I also added 1 can organic black beans to add some more protein.

    You can also soak the wheat berries overnight in cold water - then cut the cooking time to 20 min. or so. Thanks for this recipe! It's a keeper!

    1. Thanks for trying this and letting me know how it went!

      What a great idea to add the black beans! I'm going to try that next time, thank you. And good point about soaking the wheat berries, too, I always forget to pre-soak grains and am pretty lame when it comes to soaking beans too. I will have to post another wheat berry recipe I love, it's similar to tabbouleh except it's made with the wheat berries and has arugula and crumbled goat cheese - super yummy!