Did you look twice when you saw what was in store for you today? It's not chocolate, but I can guarantee, it's just as tasty! I am attending a Virtual Salad Party and I'm inviting you to be my guest! While viewing all the beautiful salad recipes I could choose from, my eyes kept going back to the Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad.
Can you see why? After finding this recipe, created by Aida Mollenkamp, author of "Keys to the Kitchen", I knew it was the one for me, along with a bit of a teeny tiny challenge...Wheat Berries. Yep, don't tell, but I've never used wheat berries before. I do love me some wheat and berries, so I thought why not? So with recipe in hand, I headed off to the market to find the best possible ingredients for my salad. And of course California Walnuts!
Without coconuts or pineapple it was still like a taste of paradise when I had the first bite. I do think you should take a little vaca for yourself and make this wheat berry salad.
Here's how it went down...
Gathered up the ingredients to get me started.
Add 2 cups of wheat berries and kosher salt into a pot of boiling water.
Toast 1 cup coarsely chopped walnut halves.
While the wheat berries were cooking, I chopped the onion and carrots. Cooked the onion until it was golden brown, then added the carrots and a pinch of salt and cooked until a bit softened.
Then I chopped the fresh thyme leaves, the chipotle and added it to the carrot mixture, along with 1 tsp. adobo sauce. Cook that together until it is fragrant and remove from heat.
Next was time to whisk the salad dressing together.
Pour the wheat berries in bowl, add carrot mixture, nuts and raisins. Stir salad dressing into the wheat berry mixture. Let salad marinate at least 15 minutes or up to 24 hours before serving. That is, if you can wait that long!
Just before serving, add the scallions and herbs.
So what did I like about this dish? 99.9% of EVERYTHING! Any changes? Here's that .1% that I might change, okay, I did change it and I liked it. I only used half amount of oil for the dressing recipe. It wasn't hard to prepare and it is great to have the option to cook the wheat berries days ahead and I'm sure preparing the dressing can be done in advance too.
Maybe because I'm more of a baker than a cook, I always look for exact amounts...like, I know you're probably thinking really? I was looking for the exact amount of water and salt to use to cook my wheat berries in. I made an executive decision and it worked!
The remainder of the salad is in the frig, and I can't stop thinking about it. I might just have to have another bite of paradise real soon!
Chipotle and Toasted Walnut Wheat Berry Salad
- 2 cups soft wheat berries, rinsed
- kosher salt
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups small dice carrots
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- 1 chopped chipotle en adobo plus 1 teaspoon chipotle en adobo sauce
- 1 cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 3 scallions, light green and green parts thinly slices
- 1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley or cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
Step 1 Fill a medium saucepan with heavily salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Stir in wheat berries, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tender but still chewy, about 30 to 40 minutes. Drain and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet to cool. (Can be made through this step up to 4 days ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
Step 2 Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add onion and a pinch of salt, and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add carrots and a pinch of salt and cook until just softened but still retains some bite, about 5 minutes more. Stir in thyme and chipotle and sauce and cook until fragrant then remove from heat.
Step 3 Place wheat berries in a large, nonreactive bowl and add carrot mixture, nuts, and raisins. Whisk together remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, vinegar, and honey until honey is dissolved then stir into wheat berry mixture. Let salad marinate at least 15 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours. Just before serving, add the scallions and herbs.
Aida's recipes and California Walnuts!
Just Another Day in Paradise!