If you’re like me, this may be one of the first times you’ve heard of wheatberries.
It’s ok. It’s not your fault.
If I repeat that ten more times will we have a moment?
I just don’t want to be Robin Williams. The body hair alone will give me a complex.
Body hair aside (gross), I’ve never heard of wheatberries until I started
perusing creeping the aisles of Whole Foods.
It’s becoming an odd hobby of mine, looking at items in a store that I can afford little in. And when I got to the “whole grains,” section I learned that I also didn’t know about the majority of what they had in stock.
Spelt. (That just sounds wrong.)
Millet. (Isn’t that for birds?)
Teff. (No seriously, this one sounds the worst of them all)
You get the point.
I honestly have never seen some of the items, nor knew how to use them in dishes. I’ve dabbled with quinoa, and I love white whole wheat flour, but actual, “ancient grains?” Clueless.
So I got brave. I grabbed the most innocent sounding of them all: wheatberries.
What, that doesn’t sound innocent to you?
I kid, I kid.
What I was actually going to do with the wheatberries, kind of threw me for a loop.
I thought about it on the drive home. Nothing.
I thought about it while I brushed our cats. Again, nothing. And, I got clawed.
I thought about it while prepping for an experiment, and realized, I shouldn’t be doing that.
So last night, I decided I should just go for it.
I made a salad. (How anti-climactic.)
The wheatberries soaked up the lovely lime and balsamic dressing, and added an interesting, but welcomed chewy texture. Raw, fresh picked corn, sweet red onion and juicy, almost bursting with ripeness, tomatoes are some of my favorite components of a “summer salad.” And with it still being summer (although lately it hasn’t felt like it), I figured why not celebrate these flavors before winter comes with its sad sad warehouse veg that makes me wonder why supermarkets even supply produce that tastes like that. Paired with a peppery bite from arugula, this dish made me incredibly happy to welcome Roo back from 8th Grade Parent/Teacher night with something refreshing and somewhat hearty.
Serves Two Generously
Adapted from Oh She Glows
For the salad
Half cup wheatberries, cooked according to package’s instructions
One ear of raw fresh sweet corn, with the kernels cut off (you can use grilled, or boiled corn, if the corn in your area isn’t very sweet)
One large beefsteak tomato, cut in half, then into quarter slices (or whatever fresh tomatoes you have on hand)
Half a large red onion, sliced thinly
Two to three big handfuls of arugula, washed and dried well
For the Dressing
Juice from 2 limes
2 tablespoons of good balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon agave (or maple syrup)
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons good olive oil (I used extra virgin)
Salt and pepper to taste
A salad spinner (if you have it)
A sharp knife
A small mixing bowl (to whisk your dressing)
A whisk (or a fork will do)
Two plates (to plate your salad with)
Cook your wheatberries according to directions on the package.
While they’re cooking, take your washed and dried arugula and create the first layer of your salad on the two plates. Scatter the tomatoes, slices of red onion and kernels of corn about on top.
When the wheatberries have finished cooking, drain them, and allow them to cool.
While they cool, add all the ingredients of the dressing in a small mixing bowl. Whisk them together until combined.
By now your wheatberries have hopefully cooled. Add a quarter to one third of a cup of wheatberries on top of the arugula, per person.
Dress the salad and serve.