Summer Wheat Berry Salad

August 17, 2012 | By andrea | Filed in: Recipes, Salad, Side Dish, Summer, Vegetarian.

This simple summery salad is packed with fiber and flavor, and was the perfect lunch on a recent picnic at the beach. I especially love the texture of the chewy wheat berries. It’s also a versatile salad that you can build on — Feta or goat cheese would be great additions, as well as green or Kalamata olives.

I used fresh red pepper instead of roasted, and some mini heirloom tomatoes that I got at Trader Joe’s. Since I was using fresh basil in the salad, I went with lemon juice in the vinaigrette (instead of lime juice). I served the salad on a mixture of arugula and spinach…yum!

Summer Wheat Berry Salad
-recipe from Fine Cooking Magazine 

Wheat berries have a delicious nutty flavor. Look for ones labeled “soft,” which will cook more quickly than the hard variety. Serves six.

1 cup soft wheat berries  
6 cups water (or vegetable or chicken stock) with 1/2 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf 
1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup diced roasted red bell pepper
2 Tbs. capers, drained and chopped 
3 Tbs. sliced scallion (white and green parts)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 Tbs. chopped fresh basil or cilantro

For the vinaigrette:
1/2 to 1 tsp. finely minced garlic
2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. white-wine vinegar 
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the garnish:
Young greens such as arugula, red mustard, cress, mizuna, or a mix

In a heavy saucepan with a lid, combine the wheat berries, water or stock, salt, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil and then simmer partially covered until the wheat berries are pleasantly chewy, which may take anywhere from 50 to 90 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and let the berries cool in the liquid. When cool, drain off all the liquid and put the berries into a large mixing bowl. Add the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, roasted pepper, capers, scallion, almonds, and basil or cilantro.

Whisk together the garlic, lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper; toss with the salad. Arrange the greens on chilled plates and top with the salad.

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One comment on “Summer Wheat Berry Salad

  1. Hmmm, this sound so good. Wonder what it tastes like? Never had it before. 🙂 🙂 Thanks Andrea for a great lunch, I give this a big thumbs up!