Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Colorful Wheat Berry Salad

Recently, after resolving to be more adventurous in my grain consumption, I picked up some wheat berries from Whole Foods. I had never cooked them before and only knew that they are unprocessed wheat kernels that are ground into flour. I was pleasantly surprised by their nutty taste and texture and found them easy to prepare. Even though it's winter, I made a colorful salad to be served at room temperature and it brightened up my day!

For this recipe you will most likely want to use the high-protein variety, known as hard wheat berries (as opposed to the "soft" low-protein wheat berries).

Colorful Wheat Berry Salad
Recipe adapted from


1 cup wheat berries
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 green onions, minced
2 carrots, peeled, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
sunflower seeds, toasted (optional)


Bring large pot of salted water to boil. Add wheat berries, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Drain.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add red onion; sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Add 4 tablespoons oil, then vinegar; whisk to blend.

Toss wheat berries, green onions, carrots, bell pepper, parsley, and sunflower seeds in large bowl. Pour dressing over; toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cool completely. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover; chill.)

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