Saturday, January 10, 2009

Wheat! It's the Grain O' the Month!

It's honest.  
It's forthright.
It has no criminal background. 
You can trust it to be alone with your children.  
OK, OK, so it's no Rhodes Scholar. Maybe it never got invited to the cotillion.  So its wardrobe lacks a certain flair, and maybe its table manners leave something to be desired, but it's the guest you'll invite back to your dinner table time after time.  Why? 

Well, at some point in your life you have to decide what's important to you--sequins and glitter or substance and honesty.  This grain, my friend, has substance and honesty.  Oh, you'd never hear it from them, (they don't like to brag; they consider it gauche,) but they have protein, iron, complex carbs, riboflavin, niacin and thiamine.  They'll make you proud and happy to be a wheat-eating American.*

Now, most kernels of wheat are taken, stripped of their healthy components and are made into the white flour used for making bread, etc.  However, some of these little gems escape that equivalent of factory farming and are released to us with their endosperm wrapped in stylish bran and their precious hearts of germ intact, waiting to, wanting to, loving to benefit our bodies.  These are called Wheat Berries and are our featured grain this first month in the Year of Grains.

*My apologies to all of you out there with Coeliac disease.  You are really fine people, I am sure and even though Betty has lured you in with all the sweet talk of the goodness of wheat, don't try this recipe at home.  I do not want that duodenum of yours getting up in arms and giving you trouble.  There will be other grains, I promise.  

Wheat Berry Salad

OHHHHHHHH.  Look at that yummy, yummy dish of Wheat Berry Salad!  Get closer and really look at it:

That's better.  Here's how to make it:

1 cup wheat berries, soaked 8 to 10 hours, drained
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup pecan pieces, toasted
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/3 cup Italian dressing


Place wheat berries in medium saucepan.  Add 1--1/2 quarts (6 cups) cold water.  Bring to boil on medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 50 minutes to one hour until berries are tender.  Drain.  Transfer berries to medium bowl; cool.

Add remaining ingredients; mix lightly.

Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate up to 4 days.

Serves: 4 one cup servings.

YUMMY!  Betty wants a full report from those good people who make this salad. 

Note:  Be sure you cook the berries until they are nice and chewy.  Being the impatient cook I am, I have sometimes skipped the whole soaking thing.  Some people use the slow cooker and cook them overnight.  Crazy, but true!  Try it!


Susan said...

That salad looks really good!!!! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Bossy Betty said...

OH! It is. You can throw in some chunks of baked tofu for a full meal!