Sunday, June 06, 2010

Late to the Party

Recipe: Wheat Berry Salad with Chickpeas, Craisins, Feta and Mint

There are two things you can count on around here... that I'm always going to be the last to do or know about anything - which most certainly applies to new (or once they get to me, old) trends, and that I know nothing, and I mean literally zero, about anything related to pop culture, or that is cool or hip (for that matter, do "we" even say the word "hip" at this point?).

While I'm sure this surprises no one, not the least of which you all - after all, you've been privy to just a few of the recipes I throw around in our kitchen (frittatas? sausage soup? bar cookies? a fruit trifle? and sometimes, two chocolate recipes at once?), it did feel good to wipe yet another embarrassing admission off my chest.

Over two years ago, I read post after post of Susan's (among others) about bulgur, farro, quinoa, and a number of other whole grains that I'd never even heard of (truth be told, at the time, I was cooking whole wheat couscous, calling it a whole grain); and, they sounded not only delicious but each also boasted incredible health benefits. Thus it's fitting, albeit late as expected, that I've finally located (honestly, this was half the battle), cooked, and fallen hard for... wheat berries.

Since then, though, you can be sure that I've seen right through (past, and around) the hour-long cooking time required to transform these once dry and light-as-air pellets into tender little nuggets of chewy, wheaty, wholesomeness. In the very short time that we've been acquainted, our new pal has already met us in two delicious recipes (one of which got unfairly short-changed being served past the bewitching hour of decent photos), leaving us with over half a bag of the little gems waiting for their day to shine. And shine they will... as these low-maintenance guys certainly don't need much help.

How to cook wheat berries:

Add 1 cup dried wheat berries to a medium-to-large sized pot and fill pot with water, covering the wheat berries by at least an inch or more. Bring the water to a boil and then turn down to just simmering for about an hour, or until tender. Drain the wheat berries. From here you can either use them right away or store them in an airtight container in your refrigerator for several days.

Recipes with wheat berries that we've enjoyed:
Wheat Berry Salad with chickpeas, Craisins, feta, and mint
(chickpeas were my substitution)
Wheat Berry Salad with black beans, feta, onions, and red onion vinaigrette
(black beans were my addition; we loved this vinaigrette!)

2 comments:

  1. Not stalking! Just waiting for the NBA game story to come in while I sit at work tonight, checking Google Reader.

    Love bulgur, it doesn't love me. Israeli couscous is, no, not a grain, but I love it to death. Have always wanted to try wheatberries! And after having mint in that fruit at your brunch I'm all about it.

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