I love a tasty wheat berry salad any time of year. Wheat berries are so healthy (filled with fiber, protein and iron) and they have a wonderful chewy texture and a nutty, earthy flavor. This is my favorite recipe that I’ve tried so far – it’s salty, sweet, nutty and chewy. Since this recipe yields about 3 cups, I sometimes double it since it’s great leftover for lunch or dinner (or bites in between). It’s best served warm or at room temperature. Note: I make a vinaigrette with my leftover basil dressing — I just add a splash of vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.
Recipe from the blog Whipped.
Wheat Berry Salad with Feta, Pine Nuts & Basil
1 cup soft wheat berries, rinsed
3 cups water
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt, plus more as needed
1 cup loosely packed basil plus 5 additional large leaves chopped
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
Combine the wheat berries, water and 2 teaspoons salt in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer, covered, until plump and chewy, about an hour or so. The berries should stay al dente, and the only way to be sure they’re done is to taste a few. Chewy but firm. Drain and season to taste with more salt.
To make the dressing, put olive oil and 1 cup clean, loosely packed basil leaves in a blender with a pinch of salt. Drizzle desired amount over wheat berries and stir to coat. You can also substitute a store bought pesto mixed with extra olive oil to make it runny enough to use as a dressing.
Toast pine nuts in a pan or oven (I use a toaster oven) until light brown. Toss pine nuts, crumbled feta and ribbons of basil into the salad.
HINT: Stack basil leaves on top of each other. Roll them up the long way to create a “cigarette” shape. Slice it very thin (1/8 inch). You will have nice ribbons of basil for garnish or salads.