Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wheatberry Salad with Dried Cherries, Roasted Butternut Squash and Toasted Pecans

Wheatberry Salad 2-15-11

I LOVE this Wheatberry Salad.  I could eat this and nothing else except maybe chocolate for the rest of my life.  I made a similar wheatberry salad a month or so ago, but it didn’t have squash in it and when I saw this one on Fallon’s blog, Fallon's Cucina, recently, I knew I wanted wheatberry salad again.

I mostly followed Fallon’s recipe, but I did make a few changes.  Her recipe called for green onions, and I just don’t “do” onions, so I added celery instead.  I also added some chopped fresh parsley.  Then the only other difference was that I cooked the wheatberries different from her recipe.  Fallon first soaked the wheat for an hour and then cooked it with a specified amount of water and simmered it covered on the stove.  I don’t taste a difference, but in the first recipe I made, it just said to cook the wheat, no soaking and to just have water covering the wheat by about an inch, then to  boil/simmer it with no lid on the pot.  So that is what I did.  The wheat was done in about 45 minutes.  The salad has a great balsamic Dijon dressing.  Here’s the recipe as I made it and you can check out Fallon’s on the link above, too.  She’s got more yummy pictures of her salad.

Wheatberry Salad with Dried Cherries, Roasted Butternut Squash and Toasted Pecans, adapted by Katrina, Baking and Boys! from Fallon’s Cucina

3/4 cup cooked wheatberries* see instructions below

3/4 cup diced into about 1/2 inch cubes, roasted butternut squash* see instructions below

1/2 cup celery, diced

1/2 cup dried sour cherries, chopped

1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

*Cover the wheat in a medium-sized saucepan with a good inch of water over the top of the wheat.  Boil it uncovered until wheat is tender and chewy, about 45 minutes.  Keep the water level about an inch over the wheat, when it gets low, add more water.  Drain any access liquid and cool the wheatberries.

*Roast the diced squash on a baking sheet in a single layer for about 20-30 minutes (until tender) in a 400 degree oven.  Once the squash is cut, peeled and diced, toss it with some olive oil and salt and pepper.

Assemble the salad by combining the wheatberries, squash, celery, cherries, pecans and parsley and tossing it in a large bowl when the wheat and squash are cooled.

Make the dressing while the wheat cools and/or while the squash is roasting. 

Honey Balsamic Dijon Dressing

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey (ooh, I just realized I used tablespoons—still good!)

salt and pepper to taste

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Combine the vinegar, mustard, honey and salt and pepper in a medium sized bowl and whisk together.  Drizzle in the olive oil while whisking.  Taste for seasoning adjustments.  Set aside.

Toss the salad with the dressing about a tablespoon at a time.  You won’t use all of it.  Refrigerate for a few hours (or don’t—I didn’t).  Enjoy.


I had some for dinner on a bed of baby spinach.  I would eat this in a box or with a fox or in a car or on a train or in the rain….. ;)  Thanks, Fallon!


Emily said...

I would love this. This my my kind of recipe!

I don't do onions either. Well, raw onions. I think I'm really sensitive to them!

Shelby said...

I saw this on Fallon's blog also and made a "version" of it. I couldn't find wheatberries so I used quinoa (red). It was very yummy but I never go to photos so I didn't post!

Fallon said...

Looks wonderful! You can't do onions.. well celery is so so for me! I only like raw celery with peanut butter or cooked in a soup. lol.

Like the touch of fresh parsley. I wanted to actually add some but trying to find nice fresh herbs in El Paso is kind of hard!

The reason I soaked the wheatberries before cooking is so your body digests them more easier. The first found I didn't do that and I had some "stomach" issues. ;). So I decided to soak them and those stomach issues disappeared!

Kristen said...

This sounds delicious. I like to keep a batch of wheat berries in my fridge to eat for breakfast, but throwing it into such a hearty salad would be a great change.

Becky said...

Oh my holy heck, thank you so much for posting this! Two of my newest obsessions, wheatberries and butternut squash. I love you i love you I. Love. You.

Natalie said...

this is exactly my kind of meal!...though i've never tried wheatberries. yum!!

Paula said...

What an interesting way to use wheat berries.

Love the rhyme at the end. Somebody's been reading too many Cat in the Hat type books. I love 'em because my boys did.

Eliana said...

This salad has delicious written all of it! I love it!

Barbara @ Modern Comfort Food said...

I'm not sure I've even heard of wheatberries, but, boy oh boy, you've certainly convinced me to pick some up the next time I go shopping! I love everything about this healthy, seasonal, and versatile salad, Katrina. (P.S. I'm an onion fan and will try it both with them AND celery:)).