Monday, November 15, 2010

The Unknown Grain...

Now, most of you probably will read this post and say "what??" because I am writing tonight about Wheatberries, a grain most people never heard of. Well, it is similar in taste to brown/wild rice, but it is a grain. It has a great crunch to it, and makes for a great cold, or warm side dish. I first tried it from the Mauzone take out counter a few years ago (an extremely oily version to say the least), and just recently read about the health benefits of wheatberries on an email I received. It is a tremendous source of fiber and provides a whole lot of nutrients, as it is a whole grain- it is actually the whole wheat kernel, which consists of the bran, germ, and endosperm. Okay, I'll leave nutrition 101 and get on to the recipe. I haven't seen wheatberries in any of the Kosher supermarkets, so I buy it in the bulk section of the health food store (i.e. Wild By Nature in Oceanside, NY). I store it in a plastic container in the freezer.

Wheatberry Salad  (my spin on Ina Garten's recipe)
-1 cup hard wheatberries
-1/2 a large (or 1 small) red onion, finely chopped
-3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
-6 tbsp. olive oil
-3 scallions (the green parts)
-1 carrot, chopped
-1/2 mango, chopped
-2-3 tbsp. chopped fresh dill

-Boil up 3 cups of water, salt the water, and add the wheatberries
-Cook with the cover vented (half on/half off) for 45 min.-1 hr. It should be slightly crunchy but not too hard
-In the meantime, saute the red onion (can use shallots instead) in 2-3 tbsp. of oil. Once translucent, take off the fire and add the rest of the oil and the balsamic and combine. Set aside.
-Drain the wheatberries and let cool before adding the remainder of the ingredients.
-Add the carrots, dill, mango, and scallion greens (you can add whatever you want!), and then add the onion/oil/balsamic mixture and stir everything together.
-Add salt and pepper to taste, if needed.

This salad can be served cold, or warm, and the longer it sits in the dressing, the better it tastes! It's addictive- but there's nothing to feel guilty about!

Embrace your healthy side  :-)


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