Wheat Berry Salad with Squash, Kale, Currants and Walnuts

Wheat Berry Salad with Squash, Kale, Currants and Walnuts

by Kristen on February 26, 2014

Wheat Berry Salad with Squash, Kale, Currants  and Walnuts

Snow? In February?! This global warming stuff isn’t working out so well here on Canada’s west coast. I know I know, there are many of you who are still waist deep in the white stuff with no end soon in sight. I almost feel bad complaining about the few flakes that fell from the sky last night. It was actually really pretty, except that it covered up spring’s first tulips. Sigh.

The end of February is still pretty chilly around here but the bravest tulips and crocuses always start popping their heads out of the ground. By next week, in the more sheltered and sunny parts of the city, I know I’ll be able to find a few purple and yellow pansies. I love this time of year. The flowers and the first few buds on the trees are the first sign that spring is around the corner. And if spring is around the bend, summer’s not far behind. I live for summer; soaking it up all June, July and August; Hanging onto it throughout September and October; Mourning for it during November, December and January; And finally seeing a glimpse of its return in February.

I think I need to move somewhere that it’s permanently summer all year round. If I could somehow convince all my family and friends to pick up and move to Mexico with me I’d be gone in an instant. :)

So hey … this post isn’t really supposed to be about how much I dislike winter or love summer (cup half empty or half full?) It’s supposed to be about this:

Wheat Berry Salad with Squash, Kale and Walnuts

This surprising yummy, chewy, nutty, a little bit sweet and totally healthy for you salad. Or salad-y like thing. I feel funny calling things salad when when the first ingredient on the list isn’t something green. But whatever this thing is I know one thing for sure: it’s really pretty awesome.

See those little things in there that kind of look like brown rice? Those are the wheat berries. They’re what whole wheat flour starts out being before it gets ground into a powder. Their texture is a little like chewy brown rice and they have a slightly nutty flavour. I found them at the market by my place and bought a big 3 kilogram (6 ½ pound) bag for only $6. Expect a ton more wheat berry recipes coming up. :)

Wheat Berry Salad with Squash, Kale and Walnuts

There’s a lot of flavours and textures going on in this wheat berry salad. You’ll find some sweet dried currants, crunchy toasted walnuts, creamy squash, and chewy kale and wheat berries. I try to get a little of each in every bite.

Try serving this along side some simply prepared fish or chicken like this pecan crusted salmon or honey garlic chicken.

Wheat Berry Salad with Squash, Kale and Walnuts

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5.0 from 1 reviews
Wheat Berry Salad with Squash, Kale and Walnuts
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 cup wheat berries (or substitute kamut or spelt for a gluten free dish)
  • 2 cups broth or water
  • 1 ½ cups kale, chopped
  • 2 cups (12 ounces) diced kaboucha squash (or substitute butternut squash)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • ½ cup toasted walnuts
  • ½ cup dried currants
  • Sea salt, to taste
For the dressing:
  • 3 tablespoons walnut or argan oil
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1 small garlic clove, finely minced
Instructions
  1. Combine the wheat berries and the broth or water in a small pot over high heat. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, covered for 30-40 minutes, or until the wheat berries are chewy but not crunchy. Remove the pot from the heat, add in the kale and mix it through. Let it sit for about 1 minute, or until the kale has just started to soften. Drain any remaining water from the pot.
  2. Preheat the oven to 420 degrees. Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
  3. Toss the diced squash with the olive oil and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bale in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until it is soft.
  4. While the squash is in the oven roast the walnuts on a baking sheet for 8-10 minutes, or until they are light brown and fragrant. Roughly chop them when they are cool enough to handle.
  5. In a small bowl whisk together the walnut or argan oil, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and garlic.
  6. In a large bowl mix together the cooked wheat berries, kale, walnuts and currants. Toss with the dressing and season generously with sea salt.
Notes
This dish can also be served at room temperature. Assemble the salad but wait until just before you serve it to toss it with the dressing as the wheat berries will quickly soak it up.

 

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kimberly

I’m not usually one for things that sound strange to me but you make these wheat berry things sound really good. If I ever see them at the store I may even be tempted to buy some :)

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Phyllis

This was delicious! Worth the search for wheat berries, which I found at Whole Foods.

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