Traditional recipes

Wheat Berry Salad

Wheat Berry Salad

Healthy, chewy, fun-to-eat wheat berries are the base for this delicious salad recipe that you can make ahead of time for the week. Try making a batch on a relaxed Sunday afternoon for a lunch you can take to work for the next few days.

Ingredients

  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 Pound wheat berries
  • 1/2 Pound roasted almonds
  • 1/2 Pound pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 Pound walnuts
  • 1/2 Pound dried cranberries
  • 1/2 Pound golden raisins
  • 1/2 Pound black raisins
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 Teaspoons sesame seeds

Servings6

Calories Per Serving1136

Folate equivalent (total)108µg27%

Riboflavin (B2)0.7mg43.1%


Wheat Berry Salad

Roasted squash and shallots fill this wheat berry salad with sweet and savory autumn flavor. Serve it as a side dish, or make it ahead for lunch.

I can’t think of a better way to start the week than by sharing this wheat berry salad recipe with all of you! I try not to play favorites when it comes to recipes, but this one is something special. It’s that rare sort of dish that really can do it all. Make it on a Sunday for lunches all week, or serve it as a side dish at your Thanksgiving dinner. No matter when you eat it, I think you’ll savor every bite.

Wheat berries may not be the trendiest grain these days, but if you try them here, you might start to wonder why you don’t cook them more often. They have a sweet, nutty flavor and a delightful chewy texture. In this wheat berry salad, they play perfectly off creamy roasted squash and fresh fall herbs. Roasted shallots add rich, sweet, and savory flavor, and an apple cider vinaigrette ties it all together. Hearty, nourishing, and delicious, this wheat berry salad is fall in a bowl. I hope you love it as much as I do.


Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries, Green Onion, Toasted Pecans, and Feta featured

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.

Dried Cranberries, Pecans, and Green Onion

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…


How do you cook wheat berries?

The one downside to wheat berries is that they take a LONG TIME to cook - about an hour, and the time can vary depending on the age of the wheat berries. I would recommend cooking a large batch of these in advance and then adding the rest of the ingredients right before eating (the wheat berries will keep well in the fridge for several days). Otherwise make sure you start cooking the wheat berries way before you plan on being hungry.

I prefer to cook wheat berries the same way you cook pasta - in a lot of extra water. This way the water will not evaporate while they cook for an hour (make sure you cover them with a lid, but allow the steam to release). Once an hour passes and the berries are cooked to your liking, you can drain the water off in a large colander and rinse the berries under cold water to cool them down.

This whole recipe is only about 10 minutes of hands-on time. Once the berries are cooked and rinsed in cold water, you can just toss all the salad ingredients into a bowl and it is ready to eat!

The salad will keep well in the fridge for 1-2 days, and the flavors of the dressing will continue to infuse the rest of the salad ingredients. Yummy!

If you like this recipe, don't forget to pin it for later and give it a rating in the recipe card below!


Wheat Berry Salad with Tuscan Kale and Butternut Squash

Preheat the oven to 400°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the squash for 20 to 25 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, cover the wheat berries with 5 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt and bring to a boil. Simmer over moderate heat until tender, 25 minutes.

Add the kale to the wheat berries, cover and remove from the heat let stand until the kale is wilted, 5 minutes. Drain well and add the wheat and kale to the squash. Add the vinegar and 2 tablespoons of the oil to the salad, season with salt and pepper and toss.

In a medium skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook over moderately high heat until just starting to brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the sage and cook for 1 minute, until fragrant. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and simmer, stirring, until evaporated. Scrape the shallot and garlic into the salad and toss. Season with salt and pepper, garnish with parsley and serve.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 1/2 cups wheat berries or pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 4 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small fennel bulb, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 4 medium cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 2 celery stalks, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 6 scallions, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Cover wheat berries with cold water by 2 inches in a large saucepan. Cover bring to a boil. Uncover reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 40 minutes. Drain transfer to a serving bowl.

Whisk together lemon juice, mustard, honey, salt, and pepper. Pour in oil in a slow, steady stream, whisking until emulsified. Drizzle over wheat berries toss.

Add fennel, cucumbers, celery, scallions, and parsley toss. Cover refrigerate 8 hours. Bring to room temperature.


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Wheat Berry Salad

Wheat Berry Salad With Tomatoes and Zucchini

Lemon-Cumin Grilled Chicken Breasts

  • 4 skinless boneless chicken breast halves (about 1-1/4 lb.)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Put chicken breast halves between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and pound lightly with a mallet or rolling pin so it is an even thickness of about 1/2 inch. In a small bowl, combine cumin, salt, and pepper. Rub chicken breasts on both sides with olive oil, then rub the spice mixture on both sides. Coat a grill or nonstick grill pan with cooking spray and heat over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until grill marks form and chicken is no longer pink, about 3 to 4 minutes per side. Remove from heat, let rest 5 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice. The chicken will keep for up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes 4 servings.


How do you Store Wheatberries?

Whole grains contain some oil or fat in the germ. This fat, like the oils found in nuts, will go rancid over time. To prevent this from happening buy only as much whole grain or whole grain flour as you can reasonably use within 3-6 months and store it as recommended.

According to the Whole Grain Council, raw wheatberries can be stored in an airtight container for up to 6 months in a cool, dry pantry.

In warmer climates or for longer storage, store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to a year before quality starts to deteriorate.

Cooked wheat can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days and in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Recipe Summary

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 1 quart water
  • 1 small head broccoli (about 15 ounces), trimmed and cut into florets
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • One 28-ounce can tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 large yellow zucchini, quartered lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1/2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Place wheat berries in a small stockpot over high heat. Add the water. Cover bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer until tender, at least 40 minutes. Drain set aside.

Fill a large bowl with ice and water set aside. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli, and blanch until bright green, 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer to the ice bath, and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until translucent, about 10 minutes. Raise heat to medium, and add the tomatoes, oregano, zucchini, eggplant, salt, and pepper cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened, about 15 minutes. Add the broccoli and wheat berries, and continue to cook until broccoli and wheat berries are heated through, about 3 minutes more. Serve.