When you see my next few posts coming up, you will understand why I have been needing something fresh in my diet lately. This free time has left me with plenty of time to bake, but when it comes down to putting a real meal on the table, I have been suffering. Lucky for me, I had some asparagus left from the poached egg and asparagus and some cherries left from my Daring Bakers challenge. I thought they would be really great together in a sweet and savory salad. Recently Raul gave me another 10 pounds of lemons (or maybe less) so I used one to make a quick dressing and then laid the whole mess on a pile of arugula. To be honest, I actually made most of the salad the day before, but then had to jet out quickly to join one of the Prop 8 rallies so the rest of this came together quickly and easily. All I had to do to finish the salad was top it with a bit of my favorite goat's milk feta from the farmers market. It is a simple and delicious way to enjoy the tastes of summer and it all ties together from the sweet cherries to the nuttiness of the roasted asparagus and the sharp bite of the arugula and chew from the wheatberrries. This salad would definitely be great with some toasted pine nuts or walnuts to bring it all together and if you are a meat eater, a side of chicken breast could probably seal the deal too.
Wheatberry Salad with Cherries and Roasted Asparagus
Makes 2 servings
1/2 cup hard wheatberries (you can use soft wheatberries and reduce the cooking time)
10 stalks thin asparagus, trimmed
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
1/2 cup cherries, pitted and halved
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1-2 handfuls baby arugula
Bring 2 cups salted water to a boil. Add the wheatberries and cook for 40-50 minutes until they are tender (reduce the cooking time by half if using soft wheatberries). Drain and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil. Toss the asparagus with a bit of oil and salt and pepper and roast for 10-15 minutes until tender. Once they have cooled, slice the asparagus into 1-2 inch spears.
Mix the lemon juice with one tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. In a large bowl mix together the wheatberries, cherries and asparagus spears. Toss wheatberry mixture with half of the dressing.
Toss a few handfuls of arugula with the remaining dressing. Lay the arugula on a plate and top with the wheatberry mixture. Finish with a few sprinkles of crumbled feta. Serve cool or at room temperature.