The sun is out, and it feels like spring! We had another bizarre day of snow on Sunday, so sunny warmth is all the more invigorating. I made beef burgundy on Sunday as a last hurrah of the season, but as soon as the sun peaked out yesterday morning, I knew I was going to make a salad.
I have a bevy of grains, purchased in bulk form various trips to the local health food stores here in town, as well as Central Market, and Whole Foods, so opting for a grain salad was a natural. I’ve been tossing grains into soups and stews all winter; I was long overdue for grain salad.
I had been reading the March issue of Martha Stewart Living, and while the recipes as a whole in the issue were a bit “meh,” a wheat berry salad caught my eye. I love the chewy texture of whole wheat berries, and the slightly sweet, earthy flavor. Martha (i.e., Martha’s staff) studded the salad with dates, celery, and walnuts; while that sounded delicious, I opted for what I had on hand.
In particular, I had some gorgeous purple baby kohlrabi from Central Market.
If you are new to kohlrabi, snap some up next time you spy some at the grocery store or farmers market for a first try. It’s easy to spot: the bulbs look like Soviet-era satellites. Kohlrabi is related to brussels sprouts (the brassica family of vegetables), but is far more mild–think apple-radish and tender raw broccoli stems all in one. Wait, that sounds weird. But have faith, it’s really good! I like it best raw, chopped or in matchsticks for salads, or grated into slaw. You can also lightly steam it.
You can use almost any grain in this salad based on what you have on hand, or what you prefer. Think bulgur, pearl barley, spelt, oat groats, and millet. For gluten free diets, use kasha (toasted buckwheat groats) or brown rice or millet. If kohlrabi is unavailable, try jicama or celery for a similar slightly-sweet, fresh crunch.
1 cup wheat berries (soaked at least 4 hours or overnight, drained)
Place the drained wheat berries in a medium saucepan, cover with water (enough so there is 1 inch water above the grains) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes until plumped and tender. Drain.
Whisk the orange zest orange juice, olive oil, lemon juice, honey (or agave), and salt in a large bowl. Add the wheat berries, kohlrabi, apple, cranberries, sunflower seeds, and parsley. Toss to combine and season with salt & pepper to taste.
Note:Wheatberries–whole, unprocessed wheat kernels–are available at any health-food store or in the health food or bulk sections of many grocery stores. They need tobe soaked for a few hours or overnight before cooking. They contain oils that turn rancid quickly. Be sure to refrigerate them in an airtight container.
I really liked this salad, Camilla. It was my first time trying kohlrabi and it worked really well here I added carrots, red pepper, cilantro and lots of baby spinach, but this is a winner of a recipe Thanks for sharing!
My version can be found here: http://tastespace.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/wheat-berry-salad-with-kohlrabi-apples-sunflower-seeds/
Sunday 22nd of August 2010
I love eating it raw or put a couple to boile when u make chicken soup, even boiled they are awesome
Tuesday 23rd of March 2010
Definitly some ingredients that I haven't worked with but it looks wonderful! Very pretty salad.