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Wheatberry and Almond Salad

Wheatberry and Almond SaladWheatberries (or wheat berries) are a nutritional powerhouse because of their balance of protein, fiber and carbohydrates.  They also have a great chewy texture, a mild nuttiness and can take on flavors of their surroundings really well.  The gotcha to all of this is that they will take more time to cook than your other grains, especially if you're a fan of quick cooking cous-cous.

Expect the wheatberries to take a solid hour to cook and require minor stirring along the way.  Contrary to what you may read, an overnight soak isn't necessary.  Skip this and save the effort.  My recipe calls for a 2:1 liquid to grain ratio, though I've seen as high as 3:1 from others.  I guess it depends on how soupy you want the final product.  Because of the time it takes to cook, you could even consider doing your prep for the ingredients while they are cooking.


The goal here is to create a nice side dish with some crunch from the almonds in addition to the chewy from the wheatberries.  The overall flavor profile is pretty neutral giving you a lot of latitude to tune or tweak it towards the rest of the meal.  Maybe you want to add a dried fruit here to pair up to a wine.  Or you could swap the rice wine vinegar with something bolder (e.g. Balsamic) or something fruity (e.g. lemon/lime juice).  For the nut, I used raw almonds, but you could certainly change that too.  Be careful if you use a roasted and salted nut because of the extra sodium that they'll bring

Wheat Berry and Almond Salad Recipe

Prepped Ingredients
Prepped Ingredients
  • 2 cups Wheatberries, rinsed well
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock
  • 2 tablespoons Parsley, chopped
  • 4 stalks Celery, chopped
  • 3 Scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Carrots, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Almonds, chopped 
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar


Instructions
Wheat Berries ready for oil and vinegar
Wheat Berries ready for oil and vinegar

  1. Rinse the wheatberries and add them to your boiling stock.  Reduce the heat and simmer uncovered for at least 45 minutes.  Give them a stir/fluff every so often so they cook evenly
  2. Prep and chop all of your ingredients and place them in a large bowl.  Add the wheat berries once they have finished cooking
  3. Season to taste and add the oil and vinegar.  



Wheatberry and Almond Salad on the plate
Wheatberry and Almond Salad on the plate