One thing I miss back home is Wholefoods and the lovely hot food bar. I would always start with a bed of lettuce and then top it with various items like hummus, Asian cabbage slaw, wheatberry salad, roasted vegetables etc. It was always different and always delicious. El Paso unfortunately does not have a Wholefoods. I’d be almost 100% complete living here if a Wholefoods existed.
How I write out most recipes. Good thing for a food blog. ;)
Before I left, I managed to pick up a bag of wheatberries from Wholefoods. I was impressed at how inexpensive they were and my goal was to remake the Wholefoods wheatberry salad here in El Paso. I used what was available in the house, so instead of dried cranberries I used dried cherries. The salad must have toasted pecans like the one at Wholefoods to make it more complete and for good crunch! We had a butternut squash that needed to be roasted and I thought that would be a good contrast to my salad as well.
Season with cinnamon, salt, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. Roast in a 400 degree F oven for approx. 30-40 minutes.
I dressed my wheatberry salad with a honey balsamic dijon dressing. All the flavors blended really well together and was lovely topped on some fresh romaine and spinach. This salad has so much texture and flavors from chewy to crunchy and sweet to savory. This lasted me for a few days and I always looked forward to lunch time!
Wheatberry Salad with Dried Cherries, Roasted Butternut Squash and Toasted Pecans By Fallon
3/4 cup dried wheatberries
3 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup roasted butternut squash
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup toasted pecans, in a nonstick skillet
Honey Balsamic Dijon Dressing
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 1/2- 2 teaspoons honey
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, add wheatberries and fill with water till they are covered. Let them soak for at least an hour. Once you have soaked the wheatberries, drain water and add to a large pot. Fill with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 45-50 minutes till water has dissolved and wheatberries are cooked. I checked on my wheatberries every 10 minutes and gave them a good stir. They are done when they are chewy and easily digestible. Shut off flame and let sit till completely cooled.
In the meantime, make the dressing. Add all the ingredients and use a whisk to bring everything together. Taste and adjust to your likings. I added a little more honey and plenty of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Once wheatberries have cooled, transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the butternut squash, dried cherries, toasted pecans and green onion, mix together. Drizzle on the dressing a little at a time. You won’t need to use it all, just until everything is coated. Let sit for a few hours in the fridge and for all the flavors to come together. Serve this with grilled chicken, on top of a salad or great on it’s own as a snack!