Early Summer Wheat Berry Salad

We love wheat berries as much for their toothsome chewiness and nutty flavor as their versatility in the kitchen. Try one of these salads as a tasty alternative to potato or macaroni salad at your next picnic. Breakneck Acres in Ravenna sells locally grown, certified organic wheat berries as well as freshly ground flour, cornmeal and dried beans.

Serves 4

  • 2 cups wheat berries
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized spring onion, coarsely chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh herbs such as basil, italian parsley, cilantro, chervil, dill, chives, minced
  • ½ cup arugula, coarsely chopped
  • 1 handful cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Fresh salad greens (optional)
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Rinse wheat berries and place in a large saucepan; add water, covering wheat berries by at least 2 inches. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, until tender, 45–60 minutes.

Drain wheat berries well in a large colander and rinse under cold water and set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together vinegar, salt, pepper and honey. Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until combined.

Add wheat berries to the vinaigrette. Add spring onion, herbs, arugula and cherry tomatoes and mix well. Adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper to taste.

Serve salad on its own or over a bed of fresh salad greens topped with crumbled feta cheese.

Note: Salad can be made one day ahead and chilled. Add cheese and greens just before serving. For a picnic, pack salad into a 1-quart, wide-mouth Mason jar, top with fresh greens, sprinkle feta on top, and screw on lid. Your salad is perfectly packed for a picnic.