Thursday, September 12, 2013

Wheat Berry Salad

I absolutely love this salad!  I eat it as a snack or for lunch with some extra veggies and sometimes a little protein (grilled chicken or tuna) on the side.  It's so versatile, extremely healthy, and very easy to make. 

I first had a version of this dish at a neighbors house for a child's birthday party (yes, in the Northeast it is perfectly normal for children to eat lentils, sushi, and wheat berry salad by the time they are 2).  I asked her for the recipe and haven't looked back.  I always make the base of the salad the same - the wheat berries, barley, and dressing.  But each time I make it, I change the herbs and veggies depending on what I have in the fridge or what looks good at the farmers market.  The wheat berries and barley take a while to cook, but the rest of the salad is put together very quickly.  Plus, my version is vegan friendly! 

I hope that you guys enjoy it as much as my friends, family, and I do!

Happy Cooking!
Wheat Berry Salad
1 cup wheat berries
1 cup pearl barley
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (you choose, depending on size of cloves and your preference)
5 scallions, chopped (the white and half way up the green)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
about 3 cups of raw chopped or shredded vegetables
1/4-1/3 cup of chopped fresh herbs
2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
***(these are the two veggie/herb combos I have made:  asparagus, carrots, and basil;  fennel, red pepper, peas, dill)

Bring a large pot of salted water with the wheat berries to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.  Add the barley and simmer for 40 minutes more.  In the meantime, chop your veggies and herbs and make the dressing.

Below you can see my veggies this time: red pepper, fresh peas, and fennel bulb. 

Then combine the balsamic, olive oil, 1/2 tsp salt, scallions, and garlic in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Once the barley and wheat berries are done (the barley will be tender, but the wheat berries maintain a bite to them), drain them thoroughly and immediately add to the dressing.

Toss the hot grains with the dressing and allow it to sit until room temperature.
Add your veggies and herbs and mix well.

Store in the fridge for up to 5 days.  Serve cold or at room temperature.   I wish I had some to eat right good! Enjoy!!!

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