Warm wheatberry salad with mushrooms and white wine [Vegan]

Jaymi's Notes:
Before trying this salad, I'd never once tried a wheatberry. I didn't even know what they were before reading about them here. Turns out, they're a really interesting grain to use for this kind of salad, with their own nutritious benefits. Where I would normally use pearl barley or quinoa or some other grain for a similar salad, now I know that there is also the mighty wheatberry!

The only change I made to this recipe is that instead of using parsley, I added fresh chopped rosemary to the mushrooms and onions as they simmered in white wine. While parsley would give a bright, summery flavor to the salad, when I read the ingredients list, I knew I'd just love to have this salad with the sweet savory flavor of rosemary. Try either herb, or an entirely different one -- whatever you like best. This recipe is very accommodating to experimenting!

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© Jaymi Heimbuch

Kelly's Recipe:

There was a time, not so long ago, where the only way you could get things like quinoa, wheat berries or millet was to find a health food store that carried them. With the emergence of companies like Bob's Red Mill, packages of all kinds of different grains and flours started appearing on the regular grocery store shelves, and the choices can be quite dizzying. Sometimes I stand in front of the display and just randomly pick something new to try, and then decide what to do with it.

I was curious about wheatberries. The wheatberry contains the entire wheat kernel, other than the inedible exterior hull and that includes the bran, germ and endosperm. That means that all of the vitamins and minerals are still intact and it makes for a pretty healthy meal.

There are lots of ways you can use wheatberries, including grinding it yourself and making your own flour. They are often used in soups and stews, but I decided that I wanted to try this warm salad. The wheatberrys have a really interesting, and unusual chewy texture which I quite liked. The recipe says cook for 50 minutes, but I felt they were still to hard and I cooked them another 10 or 15 minutes longer. Other than the actual cooking time, there was very little effort to this salad. You could serve this as a side salad to some grilled vegetables, or as part of a Mediterranean buffet.

This recipe is from the website Fake Ginger.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

Warm Wheatberry Salad

1 cup wheatberries
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped white onions
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup white wine (make sure it is vegan)
2 teaspoons coarsely chopped parsley
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. Place the wheatberries in a strainer and rinse under cold water. In a large pot, combine the wheatberries in 2 1/2 quarts of salted water and cook for 50 minutes, or until al dente. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over low heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and add the white wine. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add the onions and mushrooms to the wheatberries in a medium bowl. Toss with the parsley, season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve warm.

© Jaymi Heimbuch

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