Wheat Berry Salad for 4th of July BBQ

Photo: Randy Graham, Valley Vegetarian

Whole wheat berries. Make this vegan salad as a side dish this weekend.

This is a hearty, tasty vegan salad best served cold. The wheat berries add a chewy texture and soak up the seasonings in what is a delightful salad for all seasons. In addition to great flavor, wheat berries are inexpensive and abound in fiber. Serve on a bed of butter lettuce with fresh French bread and this is a meal in itself.

1½ cup wheat berries (if this sounds too chewy, use ¾ cup wheat berries and ¾ cup long grain brown rice)
6 cups water
1 jar (6 ounces) marinated artichoke hearts (chopped – be sure to reserve liquid)
6 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 Roma tomatoes (cored, cut into ½ inch cubes)
1 cucumber (cut into ½ inch cubes)
¾ cup green onions (sliced)
1/3 cup Kalamata olives (pitted and chopped)
1/3 cup fresh mint (chopped)
¼ cup Italian parsley (chopped)
Salt and pepper to taste

In a 3-4 quart pan, combine wheat berries and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for approximately 35 minutes or until grains are tender. Pour into colander to drain. While still in colander, rinse briefly with cold water to arrest any further cooking. After thoroughly drained, pour into a large mixing bowl.

Drain artichoke marinade into bowl with the wheat berries. Add chopped artichokes, vinegar, olive oil, mustard and oregano to mixture. Mix well, cover and put in refrigerator to cool for at least 30 minutes.

Just prior to serving, mix tomatoes, cucumber, green onions, olives, mint and parsley into berry mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

About Valley Vegetarian

The fresh chef providing consistently good vegetarian comfort food recipes.
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