Dear little food blog, I have missed you. I have taken many pictures of my food over the last few months, but these pictures have languished on my hard drive with no recipes to anchor them in the world of cooking. But it's spring now and time for a new leaf and all that, and I'm about to go unleash my latest creation on a crowd of assembled family members, so I thought I'd unleash it on you first.

What is a wheatberry, you may ask? A wheatberry is the whole dang kernel of wheat. You cook it like pretty much any whole grain: add water, boil, then simmer until the water is absorbed. Once cooked, it's chewy and nutty and delicious. It is also good for you. I used hard wheatberries, which are higher in protein and gluten, but soft would probably be fine too.

Wheatberry Salad with Pears, Walnuts, and Arugula.

This salad has a mustardy vinaigrette and is studded with pear chunks, walnuts, currants, and celery, and topped with bleu cheese. If you want to keep it vegan, leave the cheese off and the salad is still super tasty. I know, because I tasted it at every stage.

Wheatberry Salad with Pears, Walnuts, and Arugula
1 1/2 cups hard wheatberries
4 1/2 cups water

Combine in a large saucepan, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the water is absorbed--about 50 minutes. While that's cooking, assemble the dressing.

2 T flaxseed oil
1/4 c olive oil
2 T maple syrup
2 T mustard
1/4 c apple cider vinegar
a pinch of dried thyme
salt and pepper to taste

Whisk together in a small bowl and set aside. Then prepare:

2 stalks of celery, diced
2 small ripe pears, cubed
2 handfuls of arugula, chopped
1 c walnuts (toast these first if you're fancy), chopped
1/2 c currants
1/2-3/4 c crumbled bleu cheese or gorgonzola

When the wheat is cooked and has cooled a bit, you can add the dressing right away and let the grains absorb the dressing until you're ready to put together the rest of the salad--before mealtime, or the next day, even. I did the grains the day before, and added the currants and dressing before popping it all into the fridge overnight. This helped to rehydrate the currants a bit.

Wheatberry Salad with Pears, Walnuts, and Arugula.

About an hour before serving, mix in all the rest of the ingredients and salt and pepper to taste. Let the whole thing come to room temp and enjoy.

(Update: the salad was duly housed by the whole family.)

4 comments:

  1. Rose said...

    what a succulently awesome looking salad!! It looks refreshing, yet inviting enough for Fall ;). I actually work with Del Monte and we have these citrus bowls and superfruit that are a wonderful addition to any recipe. Have you heard of "undressed" fruit? It's fruit that's pre-peeled, ready to go and affordabel :). On our wesite you can browse through different recipes to try for yourself, like pear, blue cheese and walnut salad. You can even get some coupons while you're there! I wanted to share with you since you shared your recipes with us. Hope you like it!

    http://bit.ly/qYT4q  

  2. IsamarDesigns said...

    This salad looks amazing! Did you use prepared mustard (yellow or dijon) or dry mustard powder? Thanks for posting this! I can't wait to try it.  

  3. Maven said...

    Oh man, recipe oversight--I'm certain I used prepared Dijon and should have put that in the post! I hope you like the salad.  

  4. IsamarDesigns said...

    I made this tonight. It was really tasty! Thank you so much for posting this. I'm looking forward to all of the leftovers.