I used wheatberries years ago in a salad and really liked them, but because they require some serious soaking I never got back around to using them again. But last week I wanted to make a substantial salad to serve at my parents’ 4th of July BBQ—something that could hold up as a main dish for me—and I knew wheatberries fit the bill. And if you are thinking “but I’m gluten free,” please read on—I’ve got a substitution for you!
Oh, and if you didn’t get a chance to see the Coconut Almond Tart with Caramel and Fresh Fruit Filling that I brought to the BBQ, check it out!
This salad is super hearty and great for sitting out at a picnic. There’s little to get soggy, and the flavor gets better as it sits. The dressing is a vinaigrette so there’s no messy mayo either. The wheatberries provide a strong, neutral flavor base that brings all of the fresh summer flavors to the forefront—tomatoes, avocados, and corn on the cob!
Wondering why wheatberries are so good for you? Here’s what the Food Network has to say:
“Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium, which is good for healthy bones and muscles.”
Wheatberry Corn Salad
2 c wheatberries, uncooked
3 ears corn on the cob
2 c grape tomatoes, sliced in half
3 scallions, diced
¼ c parsley, chopped
2 avocados, diced right before serving
4 c fresh greens
2 T rice wine vinegar
4 T champagne vinegar
2 T olive oil
1 T maple syrup
1 T Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste
Soak wheatberries overnight in large pot—cover by several inches. After they have soaked for about 12 hours bring to a boil and continue boiling until tender, about an hour and a half (don’t worry, it’s worth it!).
Quickie version: use quinoa (gf) or pearl barley that both cook much more quickly than wheatberries!
While the wheatberries are cooking, prep other ingredients. Boil water for corn on the cob and cook ears of corn for about 3 minutes. Let cool to touch and then use a knife to cut kernels off the cobs. Tip: Place a small bowl upside down in a large bowl. Place one tip of cob on the small bowl and hold the other end in your hand. Run the knife down the cob, cutting off the kernels. The large bowl should help to collect them all!
Mix all dressing ingredients in large bowl. Add corn, tomatoes, scallions, and parsley. Add wheatberries when they have finished cooking. Toss well and refrigerate until ready to serve—the flavor gets better as it sits.
To serve: Add diced avocados and greens right before serving and toss well to mix with dressing. If you’re bringing this dish to a picnic I would bring the avocados whole and dice them on site. I’d also put the greens on top of the salad but wait to mix it until right before serving to keep them from getting soggy. Enjoy!