Here is a super simple wheatberry salad that I serve as a hearty side dish. It’s got chewy wheatberries (a.k.a. whole wheat kernels), crunchy celery, sweet cranberries, walnuts, and an easy Dijon dressing. It’s easily doable on weeknights and great for meal prep, too. It would also make a great addition to Thanksgiving.
What Are Wheatberries?
Wheatberries is a term that refers to whole, unprocessed wheat grains. Wheatberries contain all edible parts of wheat – the bran, germ, and endosperm – which arguably makes them the healthiest form in which to consume wheat. Wheatberries can be found in many supermarkets in the grains aisle, or in the bulk bin section, and are often labeled “hard red wheat.”
Whole wheat kernels are highly nutritious. Unlike processed wheat, where the outer parts of wheat (bran and germ) are removed – as for white flour, white bread, and white pasta – wheatberries are high in fiber, protein, and iron. They’re also rich in micronutrients like magnesium, selenium, copper, and manganese.
Wheatberries vs. “Ancient Grains”
Several years ago, after quinoa briefly took over the world, there was a lot of talk of “ancient grains” – revived heirloom varieties of grains. Among these were einkorn, emmer, farro, kamut, and spelt. These heirloom grains are no longer confined to specialty food shops and can often be found in regular supermarkets (farro being the most popular).
Einkorn, emmer, farro, kamut, and spelt are all slightly different types of wheat. They’re almost identical in appearance and nutrition, and can be used interchangeably. However, opting for “wheatberries” instead of one of these ancient grains might save you a few bucks, since the latter are often imported from as far as Italy.
Whether you opt for wheatberries or heirloom grains for this warm wheatberry salad, look for whole grains. (“Pearled” grains are polished, which helps them cook faster, but also removes much of the nutrients.)
Chewy wheatberries are delicious in many contexts, including soups, salads, and grain bowls.Print
Here is a super simple wheatberry salad. It’s got chewy wheatberries (a.k.a. whole wheat kernels), crunchy celery, sweet cranberries, walnuts, and an easy Dijon dressing.
- 1 1/4 cups wheatberries (See Note)
- Fine sea salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (apple cider vinegar also OK)
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 celery stalks, finely diced
- 3/4 cup chopped toasted walnuts
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Season generously with salt (as you would pasta water) and add the wheatberries. Cook covered over medium heat until the grains are cooked through but still chewy, 45 to 60 minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, mustard, pepper, and a pinch of salt.
- Drain the wheatberries and add to the bowl, along with the celery, walnuts, and cranberries. Toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. This salad is best if you let it stand for a bit before serving – about 30 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.
You can also use whole grain einkorn, emmer, farro, kamut, or spelt.
- Serving Size: 1/6 of the recipe
- Calories: 167
- Fiber: 3.3 g
- Protein: 3.1 g
Keywords: farro, ancient grains, wheatberry, salad, vegan