This delicious Wheat Berry Salad is packed with healthy roasted vegetables and yummy fall flavors ... perfect for Thanksgiving or any autumn or winter meal!
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Does your cooking ever get stuck in a rut?
I've been wanting to shake things up lately, so I challenged myself to start incorporating more unique grains in my diet. While I've tried many different grains in restaurants, I haven't cooked them much at home. I already had rice and quinoa (my fave) mastered, and with a little practice, I'm now a farro and freekeh fan, too.
There are so many other interesting grains out there though, and I wanted to keep experimenting. So when I spotted a bag of wheat berries at a farm stand recently, they immediately called my name!
With fall flavors in mind, I used my farm stand find to create this scrumptious Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Vegetables. It's quickly become my new favorite, and I know you're going to love it, too!
What Are Wheat Berries?
Are you familiar with wheat berries?
Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels. They're basically unrefined wheat ... the thing that all wheat products are made from. Flour, for example, is made from milled, ground wheat berries.
Cooked wheat berries have a wonderful chewy character that's so delicious. I love them in salads where they add lots of texture.
The wheat berries add a distinct heartiness to this gourmet Wheat Berry Salad recipe, making it perfect for a main course, as well as a side dish.
How to Make Wheat Berry Salad
This recipe for salad with wheat berries is so simple to prepare. And once you get everything going, it's mostly hands off, which I love.
The wheat berries take longest to cook, so start with them first. You'll toast them in olive oil, which adds a tasty nuttiness to the finished salad. Then, you'll simmer them in salted water until they're tender, but still chewy.
Depending on the type and freshness, wheat berries can take anywhere from 30 to 55 minutes to cook, so keep that in mind. Mine took 45 minutes.
Once the wheat berries are started, you'll work on the roasted vegetables. I used Brussels sprouts and sweet potato, but feel free to experiment with your favorite veggies.
Once they're cooked, you'll mix the wheat berries and roasted veggies with dried cranberries and toasted pecans, then toss everything with my favorite maple vinaigrette.
I love this tasty maple salad dressing so much. It's the same vinaigrette that I used on my Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad, and it's perfect for any autumn salad.
This Wheat Berry Salad recipe with Roasted Veggies is so versatile. It's hearty enough to serve as a main course, but it makes wonderful side dish for a bigger meal, too.
Tip: I actually created this wheat salad recipe with Thanksgiving in mind. The flavors are perfect for a festive fall dinner, and it can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature, or even chilled ... perfect for entertaining!
Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Vegetables
For Wheat Berries:
- 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup wheat berries
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
For Roasted Veggies:
- nonstick cooking spray
- 4 cups halved Brussels sprouts (about 10 ounces)
- 2 cups chopped sweet potato (about 1 large potato)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
- ¼ cup, plus 1 tablespoon, extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ⅛ teaspoon cayenne
- ½ cup toasted pecan halves, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Prepare Wheat Berries:
- Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a medium pot over medium heat.
- Stir wheat berries into oil to coat; cook, stirring frequently, until lightly toasted.
- Add 3 cups water and ½ teaspoon salt to wheat berries. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low.
- Cover pot and cook wheat berries until tender, but chewy, about 30 to 45 minutes.
- Drain wheat berries and place in a large bowl.
Prepare Roasted Veggies:
- While wheat berries are cooking, spray a large baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
- Place Brussels sprouts and sweet potato on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well to coat veggies with oil and seasonings.
- Roast veggies in oven for 20 minutes. Flip and roast 15 more minutes, or until browned and tender.
- Add veggies to bowl with cooked wheat berries.
- While wheat berries and veggies are cooking, whisk together vinaigrette ingredients (olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper, and cayenne). Set aside.
- Add pecans, cranberries, and parsley to bowl with wheat berries and veggies; stir together.
- Pour vinaigrette over salad and mix until well coated. Taste and adjust seasoning with additional salt and pepper, if desired.
- Serve salad warm, at room temperature, or cold. Enjoy!
Have you ever tried wheat berries?