Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blood Orange and Wheatberry Salad

Blood Orange and Wheat Berry Salad

If you have been keeping up with my blog posts in the last week, you have probably noticed that most of the recipes have been vegetarian or vegan. This wasn't really intentional, it's just that is what I have been feeling like eating lately. Don't worry, I still love my bacon, but for the time being with bathing suit season approaching, this is what I am in the mood for. Who am I kidding? It's always bathing suit season here. Just wait, I will have a super decadent treat soon enough. I recently found this salad on The Kitchn and thought it would be good to try my recent purchase of wheatberries. Look at the color of those oranges! My nail polish was almost the exact same color. So pretty. I am not very adept at segmenting oranges. I will leave the more gorgeous handiwork to the experts, but this was still an easy dish to prepare. I left out most of the olive oil in the vinaigrette because there was oil from cooking the onions and I didn't feel like I was missing anything. Does that still make it a vinaigrette? Either way, it's a very tasty dressing with a nice combination of sweet and tart. The dressing recipe will make more than you need for this salad so I suggest trying it with something else. This was my first time cooking with wheat berries. I should have payed more attention to the bulk bin from which they came because I found them to not be as tender as I would have preferred even after close to 40 minutes of cooking, but maybe that is how they are supposed to be. I definitely prefer farro, but I am looking forward to still experimenting more with wheat berries (I have quite a bit left).

Update: I went back to WF and looked at the label on the produce bin. I used hard wheat berries which require a much longer cooking time. If you make this, I suggest you use soft wheat berries which should be done in 25-30 minutes.

Wheat Berry and Blood Orange Salad
(Adapted lightly from The Kitchn)

For the vinaigrette:
1 medium red onion, sliced thinly
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (from about 3 sprigs)
1/4 cup cider vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
4 teaspoons sugar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt

For the salad:
1/2 cup soft wheat berries
2 blood oranges, sectioned
3 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
handful of flat-leaf parsley, chopped

To make the dressing:
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a fry pan over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme and cook another 1 to 2 minutes.

Transfer the onion mixture to a blender or food processor. Add the vinegars, sugar, salt, and a few grinds of fresh pepper. Blend until smooth and set aside.

To make the wheat berries:
Bring 4 cups of water to boil in a medium sauce pan. Add a sprinkle of salt and the wheat berries. Cook, uncovered, until tender, about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain.

In a medium bowl, combine the wheat berries with 3 tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Stir to combine. Add the orange sections, feta, and parsley. Toss and serve.

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Erica said...

Another good one- I am loving seeing some more vegetarian or vegan options. I really want to pick up some wheatberries!! Ahhh bathingsuit season. I keep reminding my group fitness classes that, that time of year is coming up- especially when they look like they're slacking! ;)

Anonymous said...

I've never tried wheat berries but this salad seems like a great reason to pick them up.

Diana said...

I saw this recipe on the Kitchn and thought it looked so good! I like how you changed it up and made it healthier. I think I might need to try this... maybe with barley?

P.S. It may always be bathing suit weather here, but you know what? I can't even remember the last time I wore a bathing suit!

Heather said...

i am just not a wheatberry person, but the blood orange sounds amazing. i love putting it in salads. yummy :)

Kerstin said...

What a lovely picture - it looks delicious! I still haven't gotten around to trying blood oranges, but I definitely need to! I love the feta on top - yum!

Hayley said...

This looks so pretty and nutritious. Thanks for sharing!

Reeni said...

I've never had a wheat berry. They kind of look like rice. This salad is so pretty, such deep, rich colors. I bet it's wonderful with that vinaigrette!

Bathing suit season=scary!!

Anonymous said...

I recently tried this very recipe after seeing it on the Kitchn. Wheatberries were hard for me to find, but when I did finally end up at a store that stocked them I found there were two varieties -- soft and hard. I used the soft, and the instructions on the bag said to cook for 1 hour not 30 minutes. Maybe that will help if you try it again.

Esi said...

Once again your kind words are much appreciated.

Diana, no one has seen me in a bathing suit in a very long time and I have taken 3 tropical vacations in the last 2 years!

Ashe, thanks! I figured after it took so long to cook the wheat berries that maybe I had picked up the hard kind. At least I know for when I cook them in the future.

Donna-FFW said...

Oh, Ive been seeing blood oranges everywhere in blogland. This dish, however, looks stunning and I cant even guess how delicious it must be!

Alicia Foodycat said...

Blood oranges make things look decadent, even when they are healthy. This looks so good!

The Food Librarian said...

Looks delicious. I bought a bag of wheat berries because Ina Garten made a salad with it...but haven't got around to making it. Your salad looks great!!!

Creative Classroom Core said...

I love blood oranges and have always wanted to try cooking with wheatberries. I know what Im making next! Thanks for sharing