Ah, wheat berries. Again. You’ll have to excuse us, but we love them! Nuttier and chewier than rice and about a million times more eco-friendly, it’s a winner any day. Another fun grain alternative is naked oats (Swedish: nakenhavre). Have you ever tried it? Really good as well, and actually even more of a nutritional power house than wheat berries, with higher protein content among other things. We’re working on developing some recipes with naked oats too, so stay tuned! But anyway. I think the first time wheat berries ended up in our home was back in New York, when Mike bought some with the intention of making his own wheat flour. Only, his coffee grinder surprisingly didn’t do the trick (it was hysterically funny) so the box was forgotten about for a while until one of those let’s-clean-out-the-cabinets cooking endeavors took place, and those wheat berries were put in a kale salad of some sorts. Since then, they’ve become a staple, and I’d say we eat wheat berries at least once a week.
This dish is SUPER simple, yet fills you up on both macro and micro nutrients. For the root vegetable topping, really go for anything you have on hand. We like the carrot/parsnip/beet combo, but variations are endless. You really just want a generous pile of various vegetables to put on top, that’s it. The dressing is exactly the same as the one used for this Winter-y Kale Salad, with a bright kick from the lemon juice and a warming note from the dried rosemary. Using the same dressing template is simple and not the least bit boring, in our opinion, and heck – if you’re making both recipes the same week, you can whip up a double batch at once and just store half in an airtight container in the fridge until time to use. So, to wrap it up: the concept is as simple as it is versatile – a grain, a legume, a nut, a dried fruit, a dressing, a vegetable topping. That’s all. Hope you’ll like it, and keep us posted on any fun variations you try!
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Makes 4 servings
400 g carrots (~4 medium), peeled and cut into wedges
400 g parsnips (~4-5 medium), peeled and cut into wedges
400 g beets (~ 4 medium), scrubbed clean and cut into wedges
1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
4 dl uncooked pearled wheat (~280 g)
4 dl cooked brown, cranberry or pinto beans (~275 g), rinsed and drained
1 dl dried cranberries (~70 g)
1 dl toasted almonds (~45 g), slivered
1 dl tahini (~70 g)
2 garlic cloves
3/4 dl lemon juice (~2 lemons)
2 1/2 tsp maple syrup or ljus sirap
1/2-1 tsp salt
1-3 tbsp warm water
2-3 tsp dried rosemary
A few grinds of black pepper
- Set oven to 225ºC. Place root vegetable wedges on a parchment covered baking sheet, toss in olive oil and salt and roast in the middle of the oven for 30-40 min (flip halfway), or until wedges are easily pierced with a fork and look golden. Set aside.
- In the meantime, bring 3 1/2 dl of water and 1/4 tsp salt to a boil. Add in the pearled wheat and allow to simmer for 10 min. Set aside.
- While the pearled wheat is cooking, make the dressing by placing all ingredients (start with the lesser amount of water) in a food processor and blend until smooth, adding in more water as you go. The consistency should be creamy yet pourable.
- In a mixing bowl, toss the cooked pearled wheat, beans and cranberries with the dressing. Serve in large bowls with a generous serving of vegetables on top, as well as a handful of slivered almonds.