Wheatberry Salad

Good news on the puppies, both Beau and Flo have been adopted! Hooray! If you missed my post last week about these two adorable and abandoned puppies, just know that this is very good news! 

This week we got another box of veggies from our CSA.

Cucumbers, sweet Spanish onions, Italian garlic, broccoli, red potatoes, and a variety of tomatoes were in our box this week. Finally, tomatoes are ripe! I've been waiting for these since January!

The box also contained arugula, green roaster peppers, Red Ukraine peppers, sweet corn, and edamame. Green roaster peppers look like bell peppers but they have a bit of heat with them (they are a lot like poblanos). I didn't realize the heat they had in them before I added them to my Wheatberry Salad... let's just say a regular bell pepper would have been much better!

But wait, there's more! We also got a yellow watermelon, Sweet Sarah's cantaloupe, a butterscotch melon (like honeydew), and a plethora of summer squash.

I had never had a yellow watermelon before! It was much sweeter than a regular red watermelon. I ended up making some of it into Watermelon Daiquiris, which were good, but not great.

With all these veggies, the easiest thing to make is a stir fry and serve it over rice. But this week, I just couldn't get into the mood for a stir fry. I wanted something that was fairly easy to through together now, and super easy to eat later. That's when I remembered I had wheatberries in the cupboard. 

They have been in my cupboard for several weeks now, and I just haven't been able to use them yet. Since I had yet to cook wheatberries before (or even eat!), I was intimidated. Some places said to soak, others didn't. I wasn't even sure what they were really. So, I decided to do some research.

Wheatberries are THE whole grain. If you grind up wheatberries, you get whole wheat flour. These little powerhouses have a fantastic nutritional profile! They are high in protein, fiber, and B vitamins, plus several other minerals. 

Yeah, they are good for us, but what do they taste like? They are chewy (almost crunchy) and nutty. They may look a lot like barley (most wheatberries are reddish; whereas, most barley is pale white), but they are much more hardy than barley. Wheatberries aren't going to get super soft, which means you can add the dressing to a salad hours in advance of serving it and they won't get mushy!

There are lots of ways to use wheatberries, and I'm excited to try out the other ideas. However, I needed to start with something simple, and so I decided to make a simple salad.

Some people do recommend that you soak wheatberries overnight before cooking them. I didn't do that and they cooked up great! 

Doesn't this lunch just scream end of summer?! I served the Wheatberry Salad with a Bread Salad, the Butterscotch melon, and some Colby cheese. Along with the bright summer sun, my lunch transported me to bliss.

Speaking of bliss, many of you know that my husband and I will be heading off for a two-week vacation in France soon. I plan to bring my laptop with me and blog about our adventures throughout France. I probably won't be doing a lot of cooking, but I hopefully will be doing a lot of eating and drinking fantastic wine. 

Also, the Minnesota State Fair begins this week!! Eee! So many fun things to do, I hardly have time for it all! I'm excited to revisit some old food favorites and discover some new foods along the way. Because of the trip to France, we are only able to attend 5 of the 12 days of the fair this year... :( But 5 is better than none! If you want to read about my MN State Fair adventures from last year, see this post.

Simple Wheatberry Salad
4 servings, 60 minutes

1 cup uncooked wheatberries
1 onion
1 cucumber
1 bell pepper
1 handful arugula
3/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup shelled edamame
3 tablespoons Caesar dressing (vegan, preferably homemade)

  1. Place the wheatberries in a large saucepan and cover with at least 2 inches of water. Add some salt, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium (I kept them covered to reduce water evaporation). Cook for about 60 minutes, or until tender. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, chop the onion, cucumber, pepper, and arugula and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add the tomatoes and shelled edamame. 
  3. When wheatberries are done, stir into the rest of the salad and mix in the salad dressing. Delicious either warm or chilled.
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