More Wheat Berries Please! (with Organic Wheat Berry and Citrus Dressing Salad)

wheat berries

From Lisa Barnes

I like to experiment with various grains – amaranth, quinoa, couscous, millet (not my favorite) and now wheat berries. I didn’t do much with them because I think they’ll take too long to cook. True some recipes ask for an overnight soak as well as an hour of cooking time. But the recipe below uses the wheat berries al dente – with a bit of texture and crunch. I believe it’s this crunch that makes my son enjoy this salad.

When I was first recipe testing the wheat berries my son wasn’t very interested in trying. However once he knew they weren’t mushy, but actually crunchy – he dug right in and even asked for seconds. My daughter likes them too… although there is a bit of a mess (but better than when I make couscous) under my daughter’s chair. Her pajamas are usually peppered with the little grains.

This salad is good for a family get-together or pot luck, as it will feed 6 – 8 people and can be made ahead. Wheat Berries are high in protein as well as iron and fiber – but there’s no need to tell people it’s good for them.

Organic Wheat Berry and Citrus Dressing Salad

For those children that like crunch wheat berries are an interesting nutty and plump option. They can be enjoyed hot or cold and with just about any dressing, veggies or nuts. Wheat berries can be found in natural food stores and organic markets in the bulk cereal and grain section.

Makes 6 cups

2 cups organic wheat berries, rinsed
6 cups water
2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
½ cup organic grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ cup Kalamata olives, sliced
¼ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Dressing:
Grated zest of one organic lemon, about 2 teaspoons
Juice of one organic orange, about 1/3 cup
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed organic lemon juice
2 tablespoon minced green onions
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

Combine wheat berries, water and salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower heat and cover until plump and chewy, about 1 hour. Wheat berries will still be al dente. Drain into a serving bowl.

In a small bowl whisk together, juices and zest and onion. Whisk in olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Add prepared tomatoes, olives and cheese to serving bowl of wheat berries and stir with serving spoon. Drizzle dressing over wheat berries and toss to coat.

Go Green! While lemon is not on the “dirty dozen” list as potentially harmful, we’ve suggested organic because we’re using the zest (outside peel where pesticides can be heavy)

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See also Lisa’s Why Organic For Kids?
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Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: Grains of Winter Wheat © Alexander Ryabchun | Dreamstime.com
OrganicToBe.org | OrganicToGo.com
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