Sunday, April 8, 2012

Wheat berry and Bean Salad

This week's CSA introduced a new food for me, wheat berry.  After searching I discovered that wheat berries are not so unfamiliar.  They're actually whole, unprocessed wheat in their most natural form.  All wheat products such as wheat flour are made from wheat berries.  They have all the nutrients of a whole grain as they contain the germ, endosperm and bran.  Who knew?  Wheat berries looked a lot like barley to us, although they had a nuttier taste.  Ours are from the Pima Reservation, Ramona Farms right here in Arizona.  Local and healthy, a perfect match.

Once I figured out what wheat berries were I found a few recipes.  The most common were wheat berry salads so we started there.  I made a wheat berry and bean salad based off a few of these different salads after using what we had in the kitchen.  I was able to use the wheat berries, last week's parsley (stayed fresh by doing this) and green onions from the CSA box. :)

Wheat Berry and Bean Salad
1 cup dry wheat berries, cooked and drained
2 cups navy beans (I used a combo of navy and black beans)
1/2 english cucumber, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1/3 cup cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/3 cup parsley, diced with stems removed
4 green onions, diced
sea salt and pepper to taste

Dressing Ingredients
Honestly you could use whatever vinaigrette works for you.  We aren't huge on vinaigrette around here and so although I mixed up a version of this one I ended up going with a plain old simple:
1 Tbsp white wine vinegar
2 Tbsp olive oil

1. In a medium bowl soak the wheat berries overnight in cold water.  The next day drain the wheat berries and place in a medium sized pot covered with 2-3 inches of water.  Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium and simmer for 1 hour.
2. While the berries are cooking dice up and prepare all of the veggies and put them in a large bowl.  When the berries are finished drain and set aside until cool.
4. Add the cooked and drained navy beans to the diced vegetables (cucumber, red pepper, tomatoes, parsley and green onions) and stir gently.  Add the wheat berries and stir again.
5. In a small bowl whisk together the dressing ingredients of your choice.  Set aside.
6. Add the dressing just before serving and serve well.  We prefer to have each person add their own dressing (or none at all like my 4 year old).  Season with salt and pepper.


  1. You could use black beans and cilantro instead of parsley for sort of a Mexican version! So did everyone like it?

    1. Yes really any bean would work. The 4 yr old ate it when we added Parmesan. The husband ate it but the Parmesan wasn't his favorite. I loved it!