Ball Jar Lunch: Roasted Root Vegetable Wheat Berry Salad
This colorful ball jar lunch is the perfect way to use up any odd assortment of winter root vegetables you may have hiding in the back of your pantry or fridge. Consider it your contribution to spring cleaning for the weekend. And for those of you participating in a winter CSA (or who just have a penchant for buying root vegetables in bulk) this lunch has your name written all over it! A perfect, simple blend of healthy ingredients with just the right balance of savory and sweet to delight your inner fickle child.
Roasted Root Vegetable Wheat Berry Salad (recipe adapted from David Lebovitz)
Serves Six to Eight
1 1/2 cups wheat berries
one bay leaf
2 pounds assorted root vegetables chopped into 1/2″ square pieces (carrots, turnips, parsnips, sweet potatoes etc)
1/3 cup olive oil
Leaves from 10 or so branches of fresh thyme
1/2 cup dried figs, stemmed and quartered
Fresh lemon juice to taste
salt and freshly-ground black pepper
First, preheat your oven to 425ºF and place a rack in the bottom third of the oven.
Bring 2 quarts of well-salted water to a boil, then add the wheat berries and bay leaf. Cook until tender, but still chewy. This should take about an hour.
While the wheat berries are cooking, toss your diced vegetables with your thyme and 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast the vegetables in the bottom third of the oven for 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway through baking. (The size and variety of root vegetables will alter your cooking time – just be sure to roast them until tender but not mushy).
Once the wheat berries are cooked, drain them well, and remove the bay leaf. Transfer the wheat berries to a bowl and mix in your remaining olive oil and figs, stirring well. Stir in the root vegetables, re-season with pepper and salt, if desired.
Serve warm or at room temperature.