Looking for make-ahead lunch ideas, someone suggested Ina Gartner’s Wheatberry Salad. It took me a couple days to find the wheatberries, but I found them today and went to work.
Simmer the wheatberries for 45 minutes, or until soft. They were sort of soft by 45 minutes, so I just let them go another 10 minutes, till almost all the water was boiled out.
While that was happening, I chopped the veggies.
Some of the best designs come from Mother Nature.
I didn’t have the time to hand chop everything, so I used my chopper thingy. It’s loud and obnoxious, but it does the job.
The red onions go into the pan with some olive oil.
Back to chopping.
The chopper kind of made a mess of the red peppers. Next time I'll take the time to hand chop.
The scallions I chopped by hand.
When the red onions are translucent, I turn off the heat and add another 4 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.
By now the wheatberries are done, so I drain them…
…and mix everything together.
Let it all sit for at least 30 minutes, and I’ve got a big bowl of salad to go with this week’s lunches. If we have any leftover chicken, maybe I'll add it to the mix.
It’s chewy, which I like, but the flavors are sort of generic. Salt, pepper, oil (too much for my taste, I'll add less next time), and vinegar. Next time I’m going to ask my husband (who normally does ALL the cooking) to put his spin on it, and I’d like to add more vegetables. Another option that I’m leaning toward is sweet (of course), with dried fruit and cinnamon, maybe a little honey.
Ina Garten’s Wheatberry Salad
• 1 cup hard winter wheatberries
• Kosher salt
• 1 cup finely diced red onion (1 onion)
• 6 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
• 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
• 3 scallions, minced, white and green parts
• 1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
• 1 carrot, small diced
• 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Place the wheatberries and 3 cups of boiling salted water in a saucepan and cook, uncovered, over low heat for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain.
Saute the red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
In a large bowl, combine the warm wheatberries, sauteed onions, scallions, red bell pepper, carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the pepper. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the wheatberries to absorb the sauce. Season to taste and serve at room temperature.