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A Winter Salad with Sweetness and Crunch

I made a small, short-lived attempt last weekend to jump on the bandwagon of using the pandemic as an opportunity to clean out and rearrange my kitchen pantry. I was pleased to see there wasn’t anything with an expiration date before 2017. I wasn’t exactly displeased, but I was certainly surprised, to find bags and bags and bags of wheat berries (wheat berries are the whole grain of the wheat that hasn’t undergone any refining process). I have no idea how this happened. So I cooked up a big batch of them to try to re-create one of my favorite, and now long-gone, salads I used to get at the salad bar at Whole Foods: curried wheat berry salad. The result is good enough that that I may end up using those twenty pounds before the end of winter.

Please play with ingredients – almonds instead of walnuts, or jicama instead of carrots, for example. You can chop up a red pepper &/or kale for added color, texture, and nutrition. If you don’t like curry, then use just a plain vinaigrette, or add some mustard. If you’re having company, or if you just want to wow your family, scatter some pomegranate seeds on top. You get what I’m saying.

I hope you enjoy –

Janice’s Curried Wheat Berry Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat berries (any type)
  • 1 granny smith or honeycrisp apple
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 orange
  • 1 scallion
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • ½ cup currants or raisins
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Vinaigrette Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon balsamic or red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder

Preparation

  1. Pour the wheat berries into a large pot of boiling water. Cover, and simmer 30-60 minutes, until the wheat berries are pretty soft and chewy. Drain the wheat berries, and pour into the bowl with the salad ingredient that you’ve prepped in the meantime:
  2. Chop the apple, carrot, orange, and scallion into small pieces. Set aside the green part of the scallion. Place the other ingredients in a large bowl.
  3. Add the cooked wheat berries.
  4. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients, and pour it over everything. Toss.
  5. Top with green bits of scallion if you want to be fancy.