Wheatberry Salad with Fresh Herbs

Fresh kohlrabi, scallions, and parsley join wheatberries in this delicious grain salad created by Farm Chef and Kitchen Manager Alison Baker. We served it at our 9th Annual Strawberry Festival in June 2011 and I have never seen people get so excited about a grain salad! More than a dozen people asked us for the recipe that day — including a few kids! As promised here it is, sized down by Alison to meet the needs of a household rather than a festival crowd of 1,250! For a sweeter version of this salad try it with Alison’s freshly made Cedar Circle Farm Strawberry Vinegar, available in the farmstand. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 c wheatberries uncooked
  • 2 ribs celery diced small
  • 1 small kohlrabi diced small
  • 2 scallions sliced thin
  • 3/4 c walnuts
  • 1/2 bunch parsley chopped
  • 5 T brown rice vinegar
  • 6 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 T lime juice freshly squeezed
  • 1 T stoneground mustard
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/2 t black pepper freshly ground

Instructions

Roast the walnuts in a 200° oven for 20 minutes, then rough chop and set aside. Combine the brown rice vinegar, lime juice, mustard, salt and pepper in a small bowl, then add the olive oil in a steady stream while you whisk vigorously. It’s helpful to make a little extra dressing to use if your salad gets dry and needs more.

To cook the wheatberries, place cleaned berries in a pot with at least three times the amount of water and plenty of room in the pot for the grains to circulate. Toss a small handful of salt into the pot as well and bring to a boil, then lower the heat. You want enough of a boil that the grains circulate by the action of the water and cook evenly. Too low and some of the grains will gather in the corners of the pot and stay uncooked; too high and the water will evaporate too quickly. It should take about an hour. Toward the end, taste your wheatberries to see if they are done — they will be palatably chewy, with no tough spots left. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.

While the wheatberries are still warm, pour the vinaigrette over them (they will absorb more flavor if you dress them while they’re warm). This much of the recipe can be done the day before and the salad kept in the refrigerator; bring it back up to room temperature before you serve it. To serve, add the vegetables and herbs, toss, and season to taste, adding more vinaigrette, salt, or pepper as needed. This is a pretty adaptable salad — feel free to substitute whatever vegetables or herbs you have on hand, including radishes, mint, and fresh basil.

photos: CCF staff

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