“Clean Out Your Fridge” Wheat Berry Salad
This wheat berry salad is a great dish to make when you need to clean your fridge out. The recipe is more of a guide than anything meant to be followed strictly, so feel free to substitute and add in extra ingredients as you find them at the bottom of your vegetable drawer. For your beans, you can use pretty much any bean or combination of beans you have on hand – canned or dried. Your cheese can be feta, goat cheese, or no cheese at all if you want to make this dish vegan. Don’t like red onions? Swap them out for shredded carrots
For those of you who have never had wheat berries, we would highly encourage you to go on an adventure to get your hands on some. They are easy to cook: you just boil and drain them like pasta, and they have the most amazing texture when cooked right. The only way we can describe it is springy – as in, they kind of spring in your mouth as you chew them. What could be better than that?
For this dish, we’re excited to use the mint from our garden! If you aren’t already growing it, you should absolutely start – it requires practically no care, and is great to have around in the summer for mojitos and mint tea. It grows like crazy, so you should be able to find it for free from a neighbor who let theirs escape or made the mistake of not potting it. Last year, we got ours from some very nice nuns nearby. We will warn you, it will take over your entire garden, so if you want to maintain a good relationship with your mint, please pot it up rather than planting it directly in the ground.
To make slicing your onions easier, cut them in quarters, then peel back the skin while leaving it attached to the onion, as shown below. When you get to the end of the onion, hold onto the skin as you slice not the vegetable. This will allow you to slice the entire onion neatly, without cutting your fingers.
Wheat berry Salad with Cranberries, Feta, and Mint
Optional ingredients to include: 1/2 cup shredded carrots, 1/2 cup chopped mustard greens, 1/2 cup roasted corn kernels
1 cup wheat berries
1 can or 1 cup dried black eyed peas , cannellini beans, black beans etc
1/2 cup diced or crumbled feta or goat cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped mint
5 Tbs olive oil
5 Tbs fresh lemon juice, or to taste
1 Tbs mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Bring a medium pot filled with water to a boil, then add wheat berries. Cover and cook for approximately one hour at a boil, checking their doneness frequently from 45 minutes on. Their texture should be chewy and springy, not hard or crunchy. When done, drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, if using dried black eyed peas, rinse them, drain them, then cover with water and bring them to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook approximately 15 minutes, until beans are tender. When done, drain and set aside to cool
Note: Both the beans and wheat berries may be made in advance and refrigerated for several days.
In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, and mustard.
In a large bowl stir together the wheat berries, beans, feta, mint, cranberries and red onion. Toss to combine, then toss with dressing. Serve cold or at room temperature.