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Wild Wheat Berry Salad

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A few months ago I went to a parent-teacher potluck meeting at my kids' school. The drill is each parent brings a dish big enough to serve about 20 people, which is no small feat for a busy mom. But what's awesome about these events is that there always an array of delicious homemade dishes to sample from lasagna to crunchy bruschetta to rotisserie chicken and occasionally, a hot pizza picked up on the way.

At our last meeting, one of my friends (who's also a great cook) brought a wheat berry salad which everyone went crazy for. Full of nutty, nutritious wheat berries, it was mixed with peanuts, currants, veggies, peaches and tossed with an Asian vinaigrette. As everyone was busy telling my friend how amazing and delicious it was and asking her for the recipe, she leaned over to me and whispered, "I got it from the prepared food counter at Gelson's" (our local supermarket).

Cut to me a few days later, having cornered the lady working the prepared food counter at Gelson's and begging her to give me the exact recipe. While she wouldn't tell me the measurements or proportions, she did reveal the combination of ingredients which makes this dish so special. I'm not sure if I got it exactly right, but in a side by side taste test after I made my version, we decided it was pretty darn close. Now, with great pleasure, I to share with you my friend's "homemade" parent-teacher potluck Wild Wheat Berry Salad!

Wild Wheat Berry Salad  (Serves 4-6)

  • Prep Time: 1 hrs,
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A few months ago I went to a parent-teacher potluck meeting at my kids' school. The drill is each parent brings a dish big enough to serve about 20 people, which is no small feat for a busy mom. But what's awesome about these events is that there always...

Ingredients

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins or currants
  • 1/4 cup peanuts, chopped
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peaches, defrosted
  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 cup fresh spinach, roughly chopped

Preparation

  1. 1. Cook wheat berries according to package directions, place in a strainer, rinse, drain and cool.
  2. 2. Whisk the honey, garlic, lime juice, rice vinegar, peanut oil and salt in a large bowl until combined.
  3. 3. Place the wheat berries, raisins, peanuts, peaches, bell peppers and spinach in the bowl with the dressing and stir to coat.
  4. 4. Serve.
Wild Wheat Berry Salad

Nutrition Information

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Comments






  1. Sarah

    July 9, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    I made this right before a picnic and thought it was just ok. But, man, the next day it was FABULOUS! It just took awhile for the flavors to meld. I couldn’t get enough of the leftovers. I will definitely make it again, but this time earlier in the day or even the day before.

  2. Pingback: National Peanut Board » A Fun Menu for National Picnic Day

  3. sylvia

    April 4, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I just wanted to say that this was delicious! I wanted to try it but had to wait until I had all of the ingredients. I made it for a pregnant friend of mine and we polished off about half of the salad together. Unfortunately my kids were not big fans but I think when we get out of the “no two types of foods must touch each other” phase they will love it too. Thank you for sharing this wonderful dish ;)

  4. LuLu

    February 25, 2012 at 11:26 pm

    Thank you so much for posting this. I sampled this at Gelson’s and LOVED it! I bought a little bit, But 7.99 a pound is pricey. I can’t wait to try this. I just bought some wheatberry today!

  5. Joanna

    February 8, 2012 at 4:20 pm

    I believe that ‘wheat berries’ is just a fancey name for wheat. You can purchase wheat (like other grains) as quick cooking or just the regular way. When I was a child many years ago my Mother made wheat berry cereal. She would cook whole grain wheat kernels in water and a little salt slowly on the stove or in the oven over night and we ate them with milk and brown sugar for breakfast. They were a change from our usual diet of rolled oats or oatmeal. Hard wheat has a better flavor than soft wheat.

  6. Shelley M.

    February 1, 2012 at 10:52 pm

    Made this as a side for dinner tonight, and both my 3 yr old & 14 month old kept asking for more!

  7. Caitlin

    January 31, 2012 at 2:40 pm

    I did the same thing with the artichoke dip at Gelsons when they wouldn’t give me the recipe! Fewer ingredients than this recipe however. This looks great. :)

  8. Stephanie

    January 29, 2012 at 11:05 am

    Thanks for posting. I bought way more wheat berries than I needed for another recipe from the bulk section and needed a new way to use them.

  9. Leonie Farrington

    January 28, 2012 at 11:58 pm

    Looks delicious – what other grains could be used successfully in this?

    • catherine

      January 30, 2012 at 12:42 pm

      Barley and Farro are the closest to wheat berries in size and texture.

  10. cmstreete

    January 26, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    BTW…does it matter if its hard or soft wheat berries? This is a new area for me….never heard of them before today!

    • catherine

      January 26, 2012 at 7:30 pm

      It shouldn’t matter as long as you follow the cooking directions on the package!

  11. cmstreete

    January 26, 2012 at 5:20 pm

    I think this could also work well with mangoes instead of the peaches. Cant wait to try it!

  12. Melanie

    January 26, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    Oh! I’m excited to try this recipe. Looks yummy AND healthy!

  13. Angela @ Happy Fit Mama

    January 25, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    I love the “pop” wheat berries give to a dish! Looks yummy! I’ll be getting all the ingredients next time I go to the store.

  14. Soccy

    January 25, 2012 at 2:09 pm

    I buy my wheat beries from the bulk bin and grind into flour. I’ve never cooked them. How do you cook them? Same as rice? How much water to grain? Thanks. This looks like a salad my kiddos will eat. Any gluten free variations on this?

    • catherine

      January 25, 2012 at 5:33 pm

      Its a 3:1 ratio. 3 cups of water to 1 cup of wheat berries. Rinse first. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for about 1 hour!

  15. Tera

    January 25, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Can you sub a different oil for peanut? My daughter is allergic

    • catherine

      January 25, 2012 at 1:58 pm

      You can use a flavorful oil like extra virgin olive oil. The taste will be different, but I have tried it that way and it is still delicious! If you need to take out the peanuts I would suggest subbing a different nut if possible so you still get that crunch. Another suggestion I saw was toasted soy beans!

  16. Betsy

    January 25, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    How much cooked wheat berries do you end up with (approximately)? I cook mine in a super large batch and store them in the freezer for future use. Thanks!

    • catherine

      January 25, 2012 at 2:00 pm

      Wheat berries about double in size, so I would use 2 cups cooked. Enjoy! Good idea, cooking a large batch and freezing!

  17. catherine

    January 25, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    If you cannot find wheat berries I would substitute farro or barley. Those grains will be closer in size and texture to the wheat berry!

  18. Annie

    January 25, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    LOL..I thought i was the only one who had no clue what a wheat berry is!?!?!?! Do they come frozen?

  19. Lisa

    January 25, 2012 at 12:05 pm

    That looks stunningly delicious! Love all the bright, beautiful colors. Can’t wait to try this with the wheat berries that have been sitting in my freezer for a long while.

  20. Christy

    January 25, 2012 at 10:57 am

    So glad to know I’m not the only one who didn’t know what a wheatberry was. I googled it. :) Looking forward to making the recipe now that I know what it is. Happy cooking!

  21. Cheryl

    January 25, 2012 at 9:06 am

    What is a wheat berry? I have never heard of that am I living under a rock..lol. Where can I find it in my supermarket

    • Barb S.

      January 25, 2012 at 9:45 am

      I didn’t know what wheat berry was either, but found out it’s a grain. I don’t know if your stores carry Bob’s Red Mill or not, but they have it!

    • Heidi

      January 25, 2012 at 9:15 am

      At the risk of sounding stupid (because I have no idea either) I will say that I am planning on making this and using quinoa. I think bulgar would work too, but I am not a chef. :)