I love Farmers Markets. There is just something about walking around and being able to talk to the farmers and artisans that have created the food you are going to purchase. I was really excited when I saw that there was a Farmers Market on my way home from work. I have been to a couple around my new neck of the woods, but this one is very convenient for me. Thursday I decided to check it out on my way home and was really surprised at the variety that I found.
They have this really cool thing where every week they the feature a vendor – and demonstrate a dish using one of their products. This week was Red Cat Farm. They had some awesome flours available as well as some fresh greens. However, what I was excited about was the wheat berries. I learned that wheat berries are actually the entire wheat kernel. With my new way of cooking and eating I am looking for things to substitute carbs. Now these aren’t mashed potatoes – but they created this great salad that I got to try. They added the cooked wheat berries with peppers and onions and a simple vinaigrette. When I got home that night I decided to try out my own salad.
After looking up how to actually cook wheat berries I found a couple of recipes and decided on a Mediterranean type salad. I added some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and feta to the cooked wheat berries that I marinated in my favorite vinaigrette form the grocery store (you can certainly make your own – but after a long day at work I honestly do not feel like putting that much effort into something). I just planted my herb garden a couple of weeks ago so I added some fresh basil and cilantro too. The final product turned out really well. I was really surprised at the texture and nutty flavor of the wheat berries.
Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad – Inspired by Portland Sampler
1 hour cook time // 15 minute prep time
1 cup wheat berries
2 ripe tomatoes-diced
1/2 cup english cucumber – diced
1/2 crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon basil
1 tablespoon cilantro
vinaigrette to taste
To cook the wheat berries
Combine 1 cup of wheat berries with 3 cups of water into a medium sized saucepan
Bring to a boil, cover with a lid, and reduce to a simmer
Cook on medium-low heat for about an hour (or until the wheat berries become a texture you prefer- longer cook time equals a softer texture)
Drain when finished
Combine the wheat berries and vinaigrette when still warm so they soak up the flavors
Add diced tomatoes and cucumbers, basil, cilantro and feta
You can add some salmon or chicken or top – but it is just as delicious by itself!