I love grainy salads, and particularly adore those made with wheat berries – the reddish brown whole, unprocessed kernels of wheat that are still completely intact (minus the hull, of course). Wheat berries are nutty and chewy and act as a substantial base for salads. They can be made in advance and have the chance to marinate in their vinaigrette in the fridge. Coronation grapes, those dusty blue grapes you see in supermarkets at this time of year, make a wonderfully sweet-tart, juicy addition to grainy salads like this one.
Dense, grainy salads like these are perfect to take along for lunch, or make ahead to give yourself a head start on dinner.
Wheat Berry Salad with Coronation Grapes
If you like, cover your wheat berries with water and soak them overnight, like you would dry beans, to give them a head start on the cooking process.
1 cup wheat berries
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup finely diced red pepper
1/2 cup finely diced cucumber
2 cups halved Ontario Coronation grapes
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
1/4 cup crumbled feta
Cook wheat berries in a large pot of boiling, salted water (uncovered) until they are soft, about 20 minutes. Drain in sieve.
In skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the oil over medium high-heat. Add red onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour in remaining oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add warm wheat berries, red pepper, cucumber, grapes and basil and toss to combine. Transfer to a bowl and let salad rest for at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally so the wheat can absorb the dressing.
Sprinkle with feta and serve at room temperature.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: about 290 cal, 6 g pro, 18 g total fat (2 g sat fat), 30 g carb, 4 g fibre, 5mg chol, 360 mg sodium. %RDI: iron 6%, calcium 4%, vit A 15%, vit C 35%
Thanks to the Ontario Tender Fruit Producers for the photo and recipe!