Thursday, May 22, 2008

Wheatberry Salad

The bulk foods section of Whole Foods makes me very happy. I'm always the annoying one that walks up and down in front of all the plastic bins, getting in everyone else's way because I can't decide if I want regular couscous or the Israeli couscous or which type of granola sounds best to me this week - I mean I love the ginger snap so maybe I should stick with that or should I try something else? I do a lot of apologizing and excusing myself and eventually end up throwing a couple of plastic bags of something or other in my cart and calling it a day. But with every visit, I come around the corner, and the reaction is...OOH! Bulk foods! And then the whole thing starts up again.

This particular trip landed me a big bag of Hard Winter Wheatberries, because I knew I had seen Ina Garten make a salad out of them and I wanted to try my hand at something new. You can never have too many salads in your repertoire. They turned out to be delicious, even though some of them ended up a little undercooked. (I was so paranoid about ending up with mushy wheatberries that I think I pulled them off the flame too soon.) The good thing was, I like things with a bite. You will too. This salad was delicious for days.

Wheatberry Salad

1 c hard winter wheatberries
kosher salt
1 c finely diced red onion (1 onion)
6 T olive oil, divided
2 T balsamic vinegar
3 scallions, minced (white and green parts)
1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
1 carrot, small diced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Place the wheatberries and 3 c of boiling salted water in a saucepan and cook, uncovered, over low heat for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain.

Saute the red onion in 2 T of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 4 T (1/4 c) of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.

In a large bowl, combine the warm wheatberries, sauteed onions, scallions, red bell pepper, carrot, 1/2 tsp salt, and the pepper. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the wheatberries to absorb the sauce. Season, to taste, and serve at room temperature.

No comments: