Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Wheat Berry Salad with Citrus-Shallot Vinaigrette

This salad is one of my favorite side dishes during the summer. It's simple, healthy and a crowd pleaser. Typically I'll make a double batch so I can have it for lunch during the week too. It's great warm or cold, but I prefer it chilled. One thing to note is that the wheat berries don't cook quickly, typically taking about an hour, so usually I'll make this earlier in the day so it's ready to go for dinner.

Many people don't know what wheat berries are, but they're one of my favorite grains to cook with. They are small, round grains and look similar to brown rice. If you're feeling really adventurous you can grind wheat berries to make whole wheat flour. When cooked, they are chewy and have a nutty flavor. Because the kernels are left intact, they lose virtually none of their nutritional value. Wheat berries are loaded with nutrients like fiber, iron, and protein!

For the salad, you'll need wheat berries, pine nuts, dried cranberries, green onions & granny smith apple.

Measure out 1 cup of dry wheat berries and rinse them in a colander. 

Put the wheat berries in a rice cooker and add 2 cups of water.

I love this small rice cooker because it's the perfect size for just the two of us.

While the wheat berries are cooking, gather your ingredients for the rest of the salad. 

Measure out 1/3 cup of dried cranberries and chop 1 granny smith apple.

Chop 1 green onion. 

Add 1/3 cup of pine nuts to a non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat.

Cook the pine nuts until they are brown and fragrant. Remove from heat.

For the citrus-shallot vinaigrette you'll need oranges, champagne wine vinegar, honey, olive oil, shallots, dried thyme, salt & pepper.

Squeeze juice from oranges, and measure out 4 tablespoons into a prep bowl.

Measure out 1/4 cup of olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey & 1 tablespoon of diced shallots.

Add ingredients to a salad dressing jar or mixing bowl. Add 1/2 teaspoon of dried thyme and salt & pepper to taste. I typically make all of our salad dressings myself, so I love having this Pampered Chef Mix & Pour jar!

Whisk ingredients until combined.

At this point I usually add a little dressing to the salad while the wheat berries cook to keep the apples from turning brown.

When wheat berries are done cooking, add them to the mixing bowl and stir in the rest of the dressing to taste.

Enjoy the salad warm or stick in the refrigerator to chill and eat later!

Wheat Berry Salad with Citrus-Shallot Vinaigrette
Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 cup uncooked wheat berries
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 granny smith apple, chopped
  • 4 T fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3 T champagne wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 T honey
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • 1 T shallots, diced
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
Measure out 1 cup of wheat berries and rinse in a colander. Add wheat berries and 2 cups of water to a rice cooker. While wheat berries are cooking, add the dried cranberries, toasted pine nuts, green onion and granny smith apple to a mixing bowl.

For dressing, add orange juice, champagne wine vinegar, olive oil, honey, dried thyme, shallots and salt & pepper to a bowl or salad dressing jar. Whisk until combined. Add a little dressing to the salad ingredients while the wheat berries cook to prevent the apple from turning brown. When wheat berries are done cooking, add them to the mixing bowl and stir in the rest of the dressing to taste. Store salad in the refrigerator.

This salad is wonderful served warm immediately, but I love it chilled!

Credit: Citrus-Shallot Vinaigrette adapted from Panera Bread at Home

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