Sunday, June 28, 2009
Wheat Berry GREEN Market Salad
So, we went to the farmer's market today and, as always, we hadn't managed to finish off the stuff we bought last week! So, of course, we made a fruit salad, some blueberry water melon agua fresca, and we made a great summer wheat berry salad with the remaining veggies/herbs we had in our refrigerator. Feel free to improvise as much as you want and remove ingredients you don't like. It's a very free form salad. The wheat berries are more of an accompanying roll than a star player, but it's a nice nutty note to the salad. Feel free to use whatever pantry whole grain you have -- quinoa, bulgar, barley, couscous, or even (brown) rice. Adjust cooking time/method accordingly.
Makes A LOT of salad, Probably enough for 5-8 people to eat as a 'main' course. So, it makes lots of leftovers good for the week. This is the reason I keep the 'main' salad separate from the topping (which won't keep as well together).
For wheat berries
1 cup dried wheat berries
3.5 cups water
1/2 tsp salt
Ingredients for base salad [Can be made ahead]
2-4 cups roughly chopped fresh spinach or arugula [do NOT use a food processor!] -- To be honest, I just used as much spinach as a had, probably a lot more than this!
1 bunch cilantro (and/or parsley), minced [use a food processor if you have one]
1/2 bunch mint, minced [food processor]
1 small onion, chopped [food processor]
1 bell pepper diced small [do NOT use a food processor!]
1-2 small cucumbers, diced small [no food processor]
"Toppings" [Prepare right before serving]
1/2-1 cup (cherry) tomatoes, halved
1-2 avocados, diced into 3/4 inch cubes
4-6 oz (french) feta or goat cheese, crumbled
juice of 1-2 lemons [to taste]
2-4 tablespoons of olive oil [to taste]
salt [to taste]
1. Put the dried wheat berries, water, and 1/2 tsp salt into a large pot over medium high heat and allow to come to a rolling bowl. Then lower to a simmer, cover, and cook for about an hour. If some of the water won't cook out after the wheat berries become soft, uncover and then allow the water to evaporate off. Stash the wheat berries in the freezer or refrigerator to cool off.
2. While the wheat berries are cooling, chop and mix all the ingredients for the base salad. When the wheat berries are cool/lukewarm, add them to the base salad and mix.
3. When ready to serve, mix the avocados, lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. If you are only serving a portion of the recipe (and stashing the rest for later), I recommend halving the topping amounts.
-For two people eating I would go with about 2 dozen cherry tomatoes, 1/2 of an avocado, 2 ounces of feta cheese, juice from half a lemon, and a tablespoon of olive oil.
4. On a large-ish plate, put a ladle full of the main salad. Next, add some of the avocado [reserving the liquid for later], about a dozen cherry tomatoes [halved], a half to an ounceish of crumbled feta cheese [1 inch cube, crumbled], and then drizzle a spoonful or two of the reserved avocado/lemon/olive oil juice on top of the salad as a dressing.