Recipe by Jessica Kirby
Wheatberries are a delicious, chewy, wholesome grain that make a hearty alternative to couscous or quinoa. They are fibrous and filling, but with a light dressing and some summer herbs can make a great side salad that doubles as a main dish. This recipe has dairy and vegan options and options for adding nuts versus seeds. In our home, serve this up with seasoned tofu or seitan chunks for the three vegetarians and broiled chicken for the meat lover. Enjoy!
1 1/4 cup wheatberries, dry
3 1/2 cups water
1/4 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 stick celery, diced
1/4 cup walnuts, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds
1/4-1/2 cup sour cream or full fat plain yogurt, or 1/4 cup olive oil for vegan
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder
1 pinch salt, generous
salt and pepper to taste
fresh herbs of choice—I usually
raid my herb garden for lemon
thyme, oregano, parsley,
pineapple sage, and/or garlic
chives but this part is totally up to
you and what you have on hand.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Place raw wheatberries on a pan and roast in the oven until golden and fragrant, about 6-8 minutes.
- Bring 3 1/2 cups of water to a boil with a generous pinch of salt. Add the wheatberries and reduce heat to medium. Stir occasionally and start checking for doneness around 25-30 minutes. When the wheatberries are soft and chewy, rinse in a strainer with cold water and cool.
- When the berries are cool, add the onions, tomato, celery, and nuts or seeds. Mix thoroughly.
- Make your dressing. If you are using the dairy option, mix your sour cream or yogurt into the salad ensuring all ingredients are coated. Add lemon juice and stir to combine. Add seasoning, stir, and adjust to taste. You can add a little spice—cayenne or hot sauce —at the end if that suits you. If using the vegan option, combine oil, lemon juice, garlic, chili powder, and salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix into salad.