Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries, Green Onion, and Feta

| July 7, 2010 | 3 Comments
  • 3 Comments

Wheat Berry Salad
Wheat Berry Salad

Ever since the great feedback I received from my Wheat Berry Sunshine Salad, I’ve been itching to throw together another recipe featuring this healthy whole grain.

Wheat Berries
Wheat Berries

If you’re unfamiliar with wheat berries, they are simply whole kernels of wheat — the same stuff that flour is made of when ground down. They’re a great source of fiber, and have a wonderful nutty flavor and hearty chew to them.

Inspiration for this Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries, Green Onion, Toasted Pecans, and Feta comes from the need to clean out my fridge.

I salvaged a lonely bunch of green onions from the vegetable bin, and rummaged around the pantry for other additions. Sweet-tart cranberries and toasted pecans are staples in my regular green salads, so I was willing to bet they’d work in this wheat berry salad as well. The final ingredient proved to be a handful of cubed feta. Just the thing needed for an extra savory boost.

Cranberries, Pecans, Green Onion
Dried Cranberries, Pecans, and Green Onion

Dressed with a simple balsamic vinaigrette, this no-fuss salad was a breeze to whip up, and really tasty. The cranberries added a touch of sweetness to the mix, and all the savory, tangy, crunchy, nutty components played nicely together.

Top with some grilled tofu or chicken, and you have yourself a light, flavorful, fast meal! Added bonus: It’s a great make-ahead dish since the extra time allows the wheat berries to really soak up the vinaigrette. The cranberries will plump up nice and juicy too. I know what I’m making my next BBQ this summer…

Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries, Green Onion, Toasted Pecans, and Feta

Serves: 4 (as a side dish)

Ingredients:
½ cup soft wheat berries
2 cups water
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup finely chopped green onion
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
4 ounces feta cheese, cubed
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ olive oil
½ teaspoon whole grain Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey

Preparation:
1. The wheat berries take about an hour to cook through, so you want to get these going first. Rinse the wheat berries, then, in a saucepan, combine them with the water and salt. Bring to a rolling boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for one hour or until tender. All the liquid should be absorbed.

2. Meanwhile prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the balsamic vinegar, olive oil, mustard, and honey. Set aside.

3. Combine the cooked wheat berries, green onion, cranberries, pecans, and feta. Dress with as much vinaigrette as you’d like. I use about ½ the amount this recipe makes.

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Category: Bay Area Bites Food + Drink, recipes, vegetarian and vegan

About the Author ()

Stephanie Hua is the creator of Lick My Spoon, a place for all things delicious. So far she has learned that she very much enjoys salted caramel anything, a good soup dumpling is worth a scalded tongue, and there is no room in life for non-fat cheese and crappy chocolate. Also, a barrel of cheese balls never ends well. Stephanie has been known to choose her company based on how much they can pack it down. Ability to endure cramped quarters, sketchy back alleys, and uncharted paths to seek out that special dish is also a plus in her book. If you fit the criteria, drop a note. You’ll probably get along just fine. Stephanie's writing and photography have been featured in Fodor's Travel, Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Serious Eats, and Sundance Channel. Follow her on Facebook and @lickmyspoon.
  • eclecticdeb

    Works well with quinoa as well. I’ve done something amazingly similiar — cleaned out my fridge. Included in the salad was some chopped yellow pepper, a few halved cherry tomatos, some dried cherries (along with the cranberry), cucumber, carrot, etc. Basically all the leftovers in my crisper.

    YUM.

  • http://lickmyspoon.com Stephanie

    Thanks for the tip, Deb! Love quinoa as well. Totally agree, this is a great way to use up veggie odds and ends :)

  • Christine

    I know this was posted a while ago… But, is it 1/4 CUP Olive Oil?