I first tasted wheat berry salad at a local foods luncheon. I loved it so much that I purchased a bag of wheat berries without even knowing how to make the salad.
I still don't have a 'real' recipe for wheat berry salad. I have come to think of this salad the same way I do a lettuce salad. The wheat berries serve as a base, like lettuce. I build the salad from there. Wheat berries tend to be very chewy. So I add something crunchy like nuts. I also like dried cranberries for more texture and color. Unpeeled apples add more flavor and a little moisture. Depending on the time of year, you can mix and match your ingredients.
Here is my version of wheat berry salad.
Wheat Berry Salad
Serves 6 to 8.
1 cup wheat berries
3 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
⅓ cup orange juice
⅓ cup dried cranberries
1 large apple, unpeeled and diced
½ cup walnuts or pecans, toasted
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1. Sort through wheat berries and discard any stones. Rinse well under cool running water. Place in a medium sauce pan. Add water and salt. Cover and bring to a boil.
2. Reduce heat and simmer for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Drain.
3. Combine orange juice and dried cranberries in a small bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes.
4. Combine wheat berries, apple and nuts in a large bowl; stir gently. Drain the cranberries, reserving the juice. And cranberries to wheat berry mixture.
5. Whisk together the orange juice, vinegar and oil in a small bowl until combined. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over salad and stir gently to coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Serve cold or at room temperature.