Featured on Foodista’s Food Blog of the Day, July 25, 2010.
Ever since the great feedback I received from my Wheat Berry Sunshine Salad, I’ve been itching to throw together another recipe featuring this healthy whole grain.
If you’re unfamiliar with wheat berries, they are simply whole kernels of wheat — the same stuff that flour is made of when ground down. They’re a great source of fiber, and have a wonderful nutty flavor and hearty chew to them.
Inspiration for this Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries, Green Onion, Toasted Pecans, and Feta comes from the need to clean out my fridge.
I salvaged a lonely bunch of green onions from the vegetable bin, and rummaged around the pantry for other additions. Sweet-tart cranberries and toasted pecans are staples in my regular green salads, so I was willing to bet they’d work in this wheat berry salad as well. The final ingredient proved to be a handful of cubed feta. Just the thing needed for an extra savory boost.
Dressed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, this no-fuss salad was a breeze to whip up, and really tasty. The cranberries added a touch of sweetness to the mix, and all the savory, tangy, crunchy, nutty components played nicely together.
Top with some grilled tofu or chicken, and you have yourself a light, flavorful, fast meal! Added bonus: It’s a great make-ahead dish since the extra time allows the wheat berries to really soak up the vinaigrette. The cranberries will plump up nice and juicy too. I know what I’m making my next BBQ this summer…
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield: 4 servings (as a side dish)
½ cup soft wheat berries
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped green onion
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, cubed
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1. The wheat berries take about an hour to cook through, so you want to get these going first. Rinse the wheat berries, then, in a saucepan, combine them with the water and salt. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for one hour or until tender. All the liquid should be absorbed.
2. Meanwhile prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey. Set aside.
3. Combine the cooked wheat berries, green onion, cranberries, pecans, and feta. Dress with as much vinaigrette as you’d like. I use about ½ the amount this recipe makes.
Update: This recipe is featured on Appetites, the interactive cooking app for iPad!