Wheat berry salad

I was browsing the bulk food bins at the store when I noticed wheat berries. I had never had them, so I poured enough for a few servings into a plastic bag and took it home.

They sat in my pantry a while since I didn’t know what to do with them. I’m a fan of quinoa and always have couscous, but didn’t know what to expect from this. Wheat berries are known for their fiber, protein and iron, nutrients I’m always looking for as a vegetarian.

I finally boiled them and tried a few. They were great, chewy and hearty. I knew they would be perfect in a cold salad with hearty ingredients that would stand up to it. I took ingredients from a salad featured in the New York Times vegetarian Thanksgiving meal planner, couscous salad with dried cranberries and pecans that I like.

Clockwise from top: Wheat berries, walnuts, dried cranberries, onion, celery

For my version, with the wheat berries I threw in a big handful each (No exact measurements, sorry!) walnuts, dried cranberries, onions and celery and mixed it together. To that, I took a quarter cup olive oil and a tablespoon each cumin and lime juice, mixed and drizzled on top. A little salt was thrown in, mixed and the salad chilled. This was a great little snack or side dish to meals.

In addition to salads, I can see wheat berries being really good warm with roasted veggies and a vinaigrette, as a different grain in baked bread and in soups. If anyone has a way they enjoy it, I would love it hear it.

What is your favorite grain?