“What are wheat berries?” you may be thinking. The truth is, they’re exactly what they sound like: the hard, round kernels of the wheat plant. When cooked, they’re a nice, chewy and healthy alternative to rice or barley.
There are many different varieties of wheat berries – hard and soft, red and white, and they all have slightly different cooking times, so consult the package you buy. They will likely be labeled as “wheat berries” or “whole grain wheat” in the store.
I paired the grain with some sweet additions – pomegranate seeds and caramelized sweet potatoes. You can buy pomegranate seeds already “shucked” from their shell, but it’s also not too difficult to do it yourself, gently cracking the fruit open and easing the seeds out with your fingers. If you’re worried about splatters, immerse the pomegranate in water before starting, and coax the seeds out there.
Wheatberry, Sweet Potato and Pomegranate Salad
1 large sweet potato
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
1 ½ cups wheat berries, uncooked
Seeds from 1 to 2 pomegranates
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Dice the sweet potato in to small chunks. Mix the oil and sugar together, and toss the potato chunks until coated. Roast the chunks, spread in an even layer, on 400F until tender, 20 to 30 minutes.
Cook the wheat berries according to package directions. Set aside.
Toss together the sweet potato, wheat berries and pomegranate seeds.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, orange juice, olive oil, mustard, honey and garlic. Pour over salad and toss to combine.
Remove from fridge 20 minutes before serving.