Monday, January 25, 2010

Make Ahead Side Dishes: Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries & Pecans

Having some interesting sides already made, in my fridge, makes putting lunch and dinner together a snap. Here’s the recipe for a wheat berry salad I recently made that was absolutely delicious. You do need some time to make this, since the wheat berries have to cook for 1 hour. So, it’s a good one to make when you’re home for the afternoon, overseeing homework, etc. Admittedly, this was a side I made for us, more than for the kids. The night I made it, I served it with a simple mustard glazed salmon and some edamame. Then during the week, I had it for lunch, and I did put a scoop on my children’s plate a couple different meals. My older child loved it; my younger child picked the carrots, cranberries and pecans out of it. Not bad. You pick your battles, right?

Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries and Pecans

4 cups of water
1 ½ cups of wheat berries

Handful of shredded carrots
Handful of diced celery

Hanful of diced onion or scallion
Splash of olive oil
Handful of cranberries
Handful of pecans
Splash of red wine vinegar (start with just a little, as you can always add more)
Salt & pepper, to taste

Bring the 4 cups of water to a boil; add wheat berries (shown above, before they've been cooked).

Reduce the heat to low and cook the wheat berries (uncovered) for about 1 hour or until they are tender and moist (as shown above, see how they puff up and turn a pretty, rich brown color?). Drain any extra liquid.

Return the wheat berries to the saucepan and toss in remaining ingredients. Stir so everything is nicely combined. Once it sits for a couple minutes and the flavors meld, feel free to add a bit more vinegar (to make it more zesty/tangy) or you can add another splash of olive oil if you went too heavy handed on the vinegar the first go round!

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