I knew I wanted to make something fresh and light for dinner last night. After having had a rather sinful sushi lunch – I went with the tempura/multiple sauce roll, I didn’t want to go to bed feeling stuffed.
I had seen an ad for Pompeian oils and vinegars in a magazine a few months back. The ad also contained a recipe for Black Bean, Edamame and Wheat Berry Salad. I had tracked down some of the ingredients over the weekend and decided that would be the recipe I’d try.
4 Cups Water – not shown – used to cook the wheat berries
1/2 Cup Dry Wheat Berries
1/2 of a 15 oz. Can of Black Beans – rinsed and drained
1 Cup Shelled Edamame – the recipe called for thawed frozen – I went with fresh from Trader Joe’s
1 Cup Chopped Tomato
1/2 Cup Finely Chopped Red Onion
3 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
Salt and Ground Pepper to taste – not shown…I’m sure you are all familiar with my salt and pepper shakers now 😉
Serves 6 – (3/4 Cup Servings)
Wheat berries – I had heard of wheat berries. I had seen other recipes that called for wheat berries, but I wasn’t exactly sure what they were or where to find them in the grocery store. I thought for sure they would be near the rice – to me they looked similar to brown rice when cooked. Well… A wheat berry refers to the entire wheat kernel, except for the hull. They can be cooked several different ways. You can cook them similar to rice – add water, bring to boil and then simmer. You can soak them and then sauté them in olive oil with garlic and other spices. You can also add them to bread for a crunchy texture or ground them up into a wheat flour. They are available in both soft and hard textures and they vary in color from white (light tan) to red (reddish-brown). I’m pretty sure the original recipe showed red, but all I could find at the store was soft/white. You can find them in the grain section or healthy foods section of the grocery store, near the flour.
For you calorie counters – A cup of wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron.
The first step was to rinse the dry berries. A fine mesh strainer would have worked great for this… the coffee filter/pampered chef can strainer/hoopty combo I used… was pretty much a pain in the butt.
Mental note: Must purchase a fine mesh strainer.
Anyway, I added the rinsed berries to 4 cups of salted water. The cooking instructions on the wheat berry package called for way less water, but the recipe instructions I used – called for 4 cups – bring to boil, simmer for 50 minutes and then drain.
While the wheat berries where simmering, I chopped up the tomatoes and red onion. I rinsed and drained the black beans and added all of the ingredients, minus the wheat berries to a bowl. I gave it a good mix and then put it into the fridge to marinate.
As soon as the berries were finished, I grabbed my coffee filter, can strainer, make-shift contraption and I rinsed the berries with cold water to cool them down. I patted them dry with paper towels and then got them added in with the other ingredients. I gave everything a good stir and did a taste test. It needed something. I added more ground pepper and a splash or two of balsamic. I let the salad mixture sit in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Perfection! I will definitely be making this dish again. I loved the combination! It would be great paired with grilled chicken.
I ended up eating it with a 100 calorie everything bagel thin w/reduced fat cream cheese. I actually ended up using my bagel as a scoop – it was delicious!
I’m super excited about wheat berries and can’t wait to try them in more recipes – good thing I still have the majority of the huge bag left. One of the recipes I came across combined wheat berries with milk, honey and cinnamon – interesting, I could see that – they do have a rather nutty taste to them.
Queen of all things salad and master of the side-dish,