Heidi Swanson’s recipes are true culinary delights. I very well could prattle on incessantly about Swanson’s creativity, her passion for cooking close to the earth, her breathtaking food photography, but I’ll spare you the swooning. You can read my shameless praise here.
After a long day of shopping, running errands and negotiating my way through the Union Square Greenmarket, I decided to fix a recipe I’ve been dying to make: The Wheat berry Salad, and believe me when I say that I am eating this now, as I type this, straight from the serving platter.
Wheat berry Salad (adapted from Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking)
2 cups of Wheat Berries (consider me an idiot. I’ve never cooked with Wheat berries before and I roamed my local Whole Foods market like a lunatic because, by god, was I going to make this salad.) I finally found a seemingly reasonable facsimile with Arrowhead Mills’ Whole Grain Wheat
2 teaspoons of Sea Salt (I used Kosher salt, which is what I have on hand)
Grated zest/juice of 1 orange
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice (I didn’t have a lemon handy, so I chucked this)
1 tablespoon of minced shallots
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil (I used less than this and the recipe turned out fine)
3 handfulls of fresh spinach
1 cup of toasted pine nuts (I didn’t have this on hand, either)
1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese
Salt/Pepper to taste
My improvisations: I added a 1/4 cup of dried cranberries for color and texture and a handful of chopped fresh sweet basil.
I boiled 2 tea of salt, 6 cups of water and 2 cups of rinsed Whole Grain Wheat in a pot. In a bowl, I added the chopped shallot, orange zest/juice, salt/pepper and stirred in the olive oil. After an hour, I drained the wheat (the wheat should expand in size and be al dente). I added the hot wheat to the dressing and then added the chopped fresh spinach, feta, dried cranberries, & chopped basil. I tossed until all the ingredients were combined and set aside to cool. You can eat this hot, cold or at room temperature.