Once upon a time, a certain bulk and organic speciality food store had a killer salad bar full of delights from lands far and near. But there was one offering in this mythic land that became the stuff of legend in our house. Tangy, chewy, sweet and sour, crunchy and fresh! There was so much to love. And then one day…..between the fried chicken and the three-bean salad was just, nothing. Empty. And just like that, without even realizing it, we had seen our friend for the last time. We whined. We bemoaned! We moved on and sadly, we forgot.
Until. Until we found, at the very same food store mind you, something called a wheatberry. If you want to learn more about what exactly a wheat berry is, click that link to head over to Wikipedia. Otherwise, we’ll explain it like this: it’s a whole wheat kernel, no husk, and the hard-processed variety is what lends this salad its fantastically chewy texture. Find them in the bulk section of your favorite grocer; some grocery stores may also carried packaged wheatberries or whole wheat kernels by other monikers, often in the rice/grains aisle or international foods section.
Basic Preparation: Always follow package instructions where available
Soak wheatberries overnight. Rinse and drain, then bring to a boil in a large pot of water. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, for 40-50 minutes or until desired level of tender-chewy-ness is achieved. When you try them, you’ll see right away how you can dress them sweet, savory, or anything in between.
Original Curried Wheatberry Salad - Serves 4-6 as a hearty side
- ½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Honey
- ~1 Tbsp Garam Masala powder or Curry powder, to taste
- ~1 tsp Salt, to taste
- Pinch Red Pepper Flake (optional)
- 2 Cups (Dry) Wheatberries, cooked as directed
- 1 tart green apple, chopped
- ½ Cup slivered or sliced almonds
- ½ Cup golden raisins, soaked in hot water for ~15 minutes
How to Make It
- Cook wheatberries as directed, drain and set aside.
- Mix the first 5-6 ingredients listed in a bowl or cup. This will be your dressing. Taste test!
- Mix the remaining ingredients together in large bowl. Pour the dressing over and mix well. Tastes best when it gets to sit in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. Great the next day.
For a seasonal twist on wheatberries, just think about your favorite produce! Try them with chunks roasted butternut squash, caramelized onions, dried cranberries, and goat cheese for example for a holiday twist. Or add some black beans, butternut, kale, and pomegranate seeds. That’s what we were enjoying for our photo for this post!