Now that all that lovey dovey business about Chris and Maria is posted, let’s get down to business: Wheat berries.
In January, during my meat-free month, one of my three goals was to cook a new grain. I make brown rice, basmati rice, jasmine rice, barley, cous cous, quinoa, and arborio (for risotto) with some regularity. But I rarely branch out. The most recent new grain I’d tried was black rice, which I used in this Thai-Inspired Black Rice Salad.
We’re lucky in that Turnip Truck Natural Market is just up the street. They have a bulk grain bin with all kinds of interesting grains in it in addition to nuts, granola, specialty flours and dried beans. I didn’t have to commit to an entire bag of wheat berries – I got just what I needed, and it was cheaper that way too.
Wheat berries are the whole, unprocessed kernels of the grain, and they taste like it. They’re chewy, nutty and substantial. I loved the way they tasted while my husband said they tasted “healthy.”
Too cook these babies, you boil them like pasta in salted water. They could cook from 45 minutes to 1 1/2 hours depending on how many you have in the pot. I boiled mine about 45 minutes until they were cooked, but still quite toothsome. I might cook them a little longer next time.
Here’s what they looked like before they were cooked.
And here’s what they looked like after. They puffed right up!
You could serve these on the side with a bit of butter and Parmesan, tossed in a green salad, or mixed with roasted veggies, dried fruit and cheese like I did here. I don’t have a recipe for this one, just use your judgement. Toss the wheat berries with parsley, raisins, toasted walnuts and feta, and drizzle olive oil, balsamic vinegar and a squeeze of orange juice and serve. They also held up in the fridge cooked for almost a week, so they’re a great grain to make at the start of the week and use for lunches and dinner in the days to come.