Friday, February 11, 2011

Walnut Apricot Wheatberry Salad

When I hear the word "wheatberry" it conjures up thoughts of health food...not in a good way unfortunately. Flavorless healthy food that you would have to force yourself to eat and remind yoursef that it is good for you and that is why you are eating it. This is most likely because when I first became a vegetarian, about 8 years ago, I had been in a health food store and decided to buy some, figuring I would cook them up and serve them like rice.  I wasn't the greatest cook at that point, and I undercooked them.  They were too chewy and flavorless, and being that I wasn't very experienced with grains at that point, I did not know how to fix them and make them tasty.  So I have pretty much avoided them ever since, which is unfortunate and immature of me.  When I was in the bulk department of the store the other day (where I work in the deli), there they sat in front of me in a bin...almost like they were calling to me.  All the bad memories I had of them were overridden by my compulsion to buy them and try making them into something delicious.  It might be a challenge, but I was up for it!  This time I soaked them to speed the cooking process.  Once they were cooked off, properly this time of course so the texture was to my liking, I decided that they wiould make a wonderful grain salad.  I combined them with toasted walnuts and sweet apricots and tossed them with a light citrusy dressing laced with curry powder.  It was delcious and flavorful!  Very hearty for a salad, and the leftovers made for a perfect lunch the next day!  I am happy to report I have since forgotten about my grudge with wheatberries, and I will have to experiment with them some more!  Here is the recipe if you would like to try it! 

Walnut Apricot Wheatberry Salad
Serves 2

3/4 cup wheatberries, soaked in water overnight
1/2 cup toasted walnuts
1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup baby spinach
1 small shallot, minced

1/4 cup fresh orange juice, and 1 Tbsp zest
2 Tbsp lemon juice and 1 tsp zest
1 Tbsp agave nectar
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp mild curry powder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

In a medium stockpot, cover wheatberries with water until it covers them by at least 2 inches.  Bring to a boil, and lower to a simmer.  Cook about 45 minutes, or until tender.  Drain, and let cool.  Place in a bowl, and add walnuts, apricots, spinach, and shallot.  Whisk dressing ingredients together, and toss with salad to coat.  Serve!


Belinda @zomppa said...

This is beautiful! You make wheatberry look so good!

Jill Colonna said...

Looks delicious. Never heard of wheatberry and definitely must look this out!

Monet said...

I need to experiment with new grains. As always, you are inspiring me to step outside of the norm! Thank you for sharing, sweet woman. I hope you have a weekend that bursts forth with love, joy and good eats. Bring on the rest and relaxation!

Kate @ said...

mmmmmm that's a delicious salad... love everything that you put in there!

Amy Bakes Everything said...

Gorgeous! I have never had wheatberry - but I'd eat anything with that dressing! Great job!

kita said...

Oh Ive never had a salad like this but I am recently rediscovering my love of salads. This looks like it could be a winner.