My husband likes to start his day with Hot Whole Grain Breakfast Cereal and I buy the ingredients for it at Whole Foods. I love the value of the bulk bins but occasionally the grains come spilling so quickly that I end up buying more than I need for the cereal. Recently, I found myself wondering how I could use extra wheat berries. At the September Chicago Food Swap, I struck up a conversation with a lovely women who had several tempting swap items, including a wheat berry salad. Studded with dried fruit and roasted squash, the salad looked like it would make a delicious healthy lunch. This week, I created by own version using roasted sweet potatoes, dried cherries and green onion. It is lightly dressed with maple-mustard vinaigrette. I served it at room temperature with oven-baked chicken drumsticks for dinner; the extra salad was an easy lunch the following day. Don’t be put off by the number of steps in the recipe – most of the cooking time required is hands off.
For Wheat Berries
- ½ cup wheat berries, rinsed
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 ¾ cup water
Bring wheat berries, salt and water to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook until berries are tender, about one hour. Drain.
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 ½ teaspoons whole grain Dijon mustard (regular Dijon would work as well)
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Combine maple syrup, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk to dissolve salt. Slowly add oil, whisking to emulsify.
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 tablespoons maple-mustard vinaigrette
Preheat oven to 400.
Dice sweet potato into ½ inch chunks. Toss with 1 tablespoon of vinaigrette. Spread into a single layer on a cookie sheet or rimmed sheet pan. Roast for 20-25 minutes until potatoes are tender and golden brown on the bottom.
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup dried cherries, chopped
Mix wheat berries, sweet potatoes, onions and dried cherries in a medium bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons of dressing. Taste; add more dressing if needed. Serve warm or at room temperature. Refrigerate leftovers. Tip: Extra vinaigrette makes a good marinade for pork tenderloin or chops.