I was unfamiliar with wheat berries until a few years ago when I joined a CSA and they began showing up in my weekly share. I instantly fell in love with their chewy texture and nutty taste, and now eat them regularly. Wheat berries are the unprocessed whole wheat grain, and can be found in bulk sections of natural food stores or well-stocked supermarkets.
If you can't find them, any cooked whole grain will substitute well in this recipe--barley or brown rice are both good options. I roasted the vegetables, but if you don't want to heat up your kitchen the broccoli could be quickly steamed and the tomatoes and shallots could be used raw.
I also made this delicious chilled Thai squash soup from Bon Appétit magazine (I followed the recipe exactly, using light coconut milk to reduce the saturated fat content).
Since the soup needs time to chill, it can be made in the morning (or even the day before) and be ready to eat when you get home that evening. The soup is a great way to use up an abundance of summer squash, and the yogurt garnish gives a delicious tang to the slightly sweet, slightly spicy soup. Overall, it's a perfect chilled soup for a warm summer night.
Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Vegetables
4 cups broccoli florets, cut into bite-sized pieces
1/2 pint grape tomatoes
1 medium shallot, thinly sliced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
Zest of 1 small lemon
Juice of 1 small lemon
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 cups cooked wheat berries*
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
4 cups arugula
Preheat oven to 450° F. In a large baking dish, toss broccoli, tomatoes, and shallots with 1 tablespoon olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast vegetables until broccoli is beginning to brown, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes.
In a large bowl, whisk together lemon zest, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and basil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in cooked wheat berries and vegetables; toss to combine. Crumble goat cheese into wheat berry mixture, season to taste with salt and pepper, and stir gently to combine. Serve wheat berry salad over a bed of arugula.
Makes 6 servings.
*To cook wheat berries, rinse dried wheat berries in a colander under running water. Place in a large stock pot and cover with several inches of cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, partially covered, until wheat berries are tender, about one hour. Drain well.