Wheat Berry Salad


Today, as always on Thursdays, I chatted with Matt Swaim on the Sonrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio. The topic was wheat. Did you know wheat has an ancient Biblical history? Here’s some fun facts, along with my newest fave: wheat berry salad.

John 12:24: Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 
Psalm 147:12-14……He makes peace within your borders and fills you with the finest wheat.

 How did people of Bible days use wheat?

They threshed the grain and then ground it by hand in stone mills. The mills were usually made of black basalt, which is hard and porous and has a rough surface. It was a noisy grinding process which began before daylight. It was usually done every day since only enough meal for one day was prepared. The flour was sieved onto trays and then ground into a finer state with a pestle and stone slab. When the call came from Moses to leave Egypt the people took their kneading troughs with them, so you know bread making was essential.
Whole wheat is really in the news now for its health giving qualities.
Whole wheat and whole wheat flour are just that: they contain all the good parts, the bran, endosperm, and germ.
You can sub in Farro, bulgur, quinoa – whatever!
1 ½ c. wheat berries 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ t. salt        
Up to 2 cups cut up dried figs or any dried fruit
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar.   
2 tsp. honey
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
Palmful parsley
1 small shallot, minced, 3 T
1/2 c. pine nuts or slivered almonds, 
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled – or Feta
Bring a pot of water to a boil. 
Add wheat berries and salt, return to boil, and cook until tender but still chewy. It takes about 35-40 minutes or so.
Drain wheat berries and let cool while making dressing:
Whisk vinegar, shallot, mustard, honey, ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. pepper together in large bowl. Whisking constantly, slowly drizzle in oil.
Add wheat berries, figs, parsley and pine nuts and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to serving bowl and sprinkle with goat cheese.
Tip: Any dried fruit can be used!

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