Greek Wheat Berry Salad
This recipe has gotten under my skin. I feel good making it, I feel good eating it, and I feel good afterwards. In a kitchen that sees very little repetition, I have made this salad three times in the last month- it is that addictive! This would be delightful for a potluck, or to just have in the fridge when it is too hot to cook and all you want is a hearty salad. For presentation purposes the salad looks more appealing if you sprinkle the feta and tomatoes on top after everything else is mixed. You can even stretch it out a bit by serving it on top of fresh spinach. However when it is just the two of us I mix everything together in a big bowl and enjoy every bite!
Salad can be made up to 2 days ahead and stored covered in the fridge. Bring to room temperature and mix well before serving.
Serves 4-6 as a Main Course, 10-12 as a Side Salad
2 cups wheat berries
6 cups water
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 lemon, zested
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped + brine from jar (used below)
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 roasted red bell peppers, chopped into bite size pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
1 cup basil leaves, julienned
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar (if you like a lot of tang add a bit more)
2-3 Tablespoons "brine" from Kalamata olive jar (can be increased to taste)
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
Juice of the zested lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
To make the salad:
Rinse wheat berries under cool water and then drain.
Place wheat berries, six cups of water, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt into a medium pot.
Place the pot over high heat, and bring the water to a boil.
Stir, reduce heat to maintain a low simmer, and cover the pot with a lid.
Cook the wheat berries, stirring occasionally, for 60-90 minutes or until they are tender (but not mushy).
Once the wheat berries are cooked, drain off any remaining water, and transfer the wheat berries to a large (8-10 cup capacity) bowl.
MEANWHILE, while the wheat berries are cooking, place a small saucepan over low heat and add 1 Tablespoon of olive oil, red onion, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt.
Slowly cook the onion, stirring occasionally until it is softened and a light brown color.
This will take about 40-60 minutes.
Once the onion is caramelized, remove the saucepan from the heat and set the onions aside to cool.
Add the lemon zest, Kalamata olives, garlic, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, basil leaves, feta, pine nuts and cooled onions into the large bowl with the wheat berries.
Gently mix the ingredients together with a spoon to combine.
To make the dressing:
In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, red wine vinegar, "brine" from the Kalamata olive jar, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Once the dressing is well mixed, pour it over the salad and stir until all ingredients are well coated.
Taste the salad and add more salt and pepper if necessary.
(Much like rice, the wheat berries will require a decent amount of salt for the flavor to shine through.)
Serve the salad as is or plate on top of fresh spinach and garnish with additional feta cheese, tomatoes, and basil.
Posted by LuAnn. (Edited slightly to fit Recipe Form)