A wheatberry salad is the kind of side dish that’s full of hearty whole grains with flavors that deepen as the ingredients gel. If you’ve never cooked whole grains in a salad before, start with this wheatberry recipe.
Wheatberry Recipe Tips for Cooking
Toast the wheatberries. It’s a simple step that will deepen the flavor of the whole grains. All you need to do is place them in a saucepan set over medium heat. Stir them often so they don’t burn and you’ll know they are properly toasted once they are fragrant and begin to darken, about 5 minutes.
Next, you’ll stir in 4 quarts of water with a hearty pinch of salt, bringing to a simmer. You’ll reduce the heat to low, partially covering, simmering until tender. Plan on stirring often. If the water level gets low, as the wheatberries simmer, add more boiling water. This will prevent the saucepan from drying out. The wheatberries will remain a bit chewy.
Next, you’ll drain the wheatberries, spreading them out over a rimmed baking sheet. Cool them to room temperature.
Mix-ins for an Unforgettable Whole Grain Salad
Peeling and shredding carrots adds color, crunch, and nutrition. They also pair beautifully with a dressing whisking together vinegar and orange juice for brightness while shallots and garlic add piquancy. Fresh torn basil leaves bring an herbaceous note. Sun-Maid or Orchard Choice Golden Figs are tangy, slightly nutty and delicately sweet. Or, use Mission Figs for a jammy familiar sweetness.
Composing the Wheatberry Salad
Transfer the cooled wheat berries to a large bowl. Stir in the carrots, figs, scallions, and basil. Then, toss the wheatberries in the dressing. Season the salad to taste.
The wheatberry salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days; season with additional salt, pepper, orange juice, and vinegar to taste before serving.
Wheatberry and California Fig Salad
- 1 cup wheat berries
- Salt and pepper
- 1 carrot peeled and shredded
- 1 1/2 cups Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Figs stemmed and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces
- 2 scallions minced
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 2 tablespoons orange juice
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 small shallot minced
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 teaspoon honey
- Toast the wheat berries in a large saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until the wheat berries are fragrant and beginning to darken, about 5 minutes. Stir in 4 quarts water and 1/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, partially cover, and continue to simmer, stirring often, until tender (the wheat berries should remain a little chewy), about 1 hour.
- Drain the wheat berries, spread them out over a rimmed baking sheet, and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.
- Transfer the cooled wheat berries to a large bowl and stir in the carrot, figs, scallions, and basil. In a separate bowl, whisk the vinegar, orange juice, oil, mustard, shallot, garlic, and honey together, then pour over the wheat berry mixture and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
- TO MAKE AHEAD: The wheat berry salad can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days; season with additional salt, pepper, orange juice, and vinegar to taste before serving.