Thursday, March 11, 2010

First Salad of (Almost) Spring

We had some warm(er) weather at the end of last week and some gentle rain showers on Friday and Saturday. The radio kept reminding listeners to "spring" their clocks ahead on Sunday morning. It all combined to make me feel spring was arriving immediately and I needed to celebrate with a hearty salad while waiting for asparagus, heirloom tomatoes, and tiny cucumbers that won't arrive for sometime to come in the midwest farmers' markets.

I looked through my pantry and refrigerator and found I could pull together this salad with what I had on hand. The idea is totally Ina Garten's with a few directional changes by me.




Photo by Bonnie

Ina Garten's Recipe for Wheatberry Salad
(with a little tweaking by Bonnie)

1 cup hard winter wheatberries
Salt
1 cup green onions (use the white and about an inch of the green) thinly sliced
3 tablespoons good olive oil
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar (sometimes I use balsamic)
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

Soak the wheatberries in water to cover overnight.

Drain the wheatberries and place into three cups of boiling, salted water. Cook, uncovered, for about 45 minutes or until they are soft. Drain.

While still warm, add the olive oil and the vinegar. Mix well and then combine with the rest of the vegetables. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Allow to sit at least 30 minutes at room temperature. Even better when refrigerated overnight and brought to room temperature before serving.

Ina slightly sauteed the vegetables before adding them to the wheatberries. While this, too, is delicious, I like the crunchiness of the uncooked vegetables.

I often have this in the refrigerator for my weekday lunches. It is also perfect to tuck into the picnic basket.

This is a good recipe to add your own taste to with the addition of herbs or spices or a different type of dressing. Explore and enjoy!