Thursday, September 2, 2010

Swooning for Wheatberries

It’s official; I’m completely smitten! And the culprit is the almighty wheatberry. What is a wheatberry you may ask? Well, according to Wikipedia, “the term wheatberry or wheat berry refers to the entire wheat kernel (except for the hull), comprising the bran, germ, and endosperm.” Sounds….uh, delicious, right? YUP! Absolutely fabulous folks. They are also completely good for you: high in fiber; low fat; high in protein; and heart healthy. When cooked they are chewy and scrumptious and go with darn near anything.

For my first foray into the wheatberry world I did a little research. There is quite a bit of disagreement among cooks on the soak vs. not soak issue. I was lazy and skipped the over night soaking step that some seem to maintain is a requirement and found that soaking was completely and utterly unnecessary! My wheatberries turned out just fine.

For this recipe I was feeling summery and in need of a healthy detox dinner…..i’ve been overindulging in burgers and mac n cheese as of late. Tthis one hit it out of the park!!! Fresh, healthy and absolutely satisfying. The chewy wheatberries paired perfectly with crunchy roasted vegetables and tender shrimp tossed in garlic, lemon and balsamic vinegar. Full of flavor and divine. I can’t stop thinking about this dish and neither will you once you take a stab at the totally amazing wheatberry!

Roasted Vegetables, Shrimp and Wheatberry Salad
A Girl and Her Kitchen

1 c hard wheatberriers
½ a large red bell pepper, large dice
½ a zucchini, large dice
½ a squash, large dice
1 carrot, large dice
½ a red onion, large dice
6 brown mushrooms, large dice
½ cucumber, large dice
4 vine ripened tomatoes, large dice
½ bunch of basil, chopped
½ bunch of parsley, chopped
¾ lb shrimp (deveined and peeled)
1 lemon, juiced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
Red pepper flakes, a pinch or two to taste
Herbs de provence
½ c Ricotta salata, crumbled (could sub any cheese)

1 large shallot, minced
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
½ a lemon, juiced
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp herbs de provence
Salt and pepper

Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, lightly salt the water and then add wheatberries. Cook, uncovered, over low heat (at a low simmer) for 45-60 minutes until tender, soft and chewy. Drain.
Cut the red pepper, onion, carrot, squash, and zucchini and arrange on a sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and a couple big pinches of herbs de provence. Roast at 400º for 20-30 minutes until tender, mixing once or twice while cooking. When done, transfer to serving dish.
While all that is cooking, dice tomatoes and cucumbers and chopped parsley and basil. Add to serving dish.

Make the dressing: Whisk the shallot, vinegar, lemon, salt and pepper and herbs de provence in small bowl and set aside.

In a separate bowl, mix the garlic, juice of 1 lemon, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and about 3-4 tables spoons of olive oil. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add in the shrimp and mix well. Set aside in the refrigerator for 5-10 minutes to marinate.

In a sauté pan over medium heat, heat the olive oil and then cook the mushrooms until brown on both sides. Do not move the mushrooms around once you put them in the pan. Let them cook for at least 4-5 minutes before touching them. When done, transfer to serving dish.

In the same sauté pan over medium heat add the shrimp and all of the marinade. Cook the shrimp until pink and just cooked through, 2 minutes per side. When done, transfer shrimp and sauce to serving dish.
Toss all ingredients in a large serving dish with the dressing so that it is well incorporated. Garnish with a sprinkle of leftover herbs and crumbled ricotta salata. Enjoy warm, room temp or cold!
Note: This is one of those method recipes. I could see tossing in diced fresh mozzarella, prosciutto and peas or drop the shrimp and add more mushrooms and maybe tofu for a great veggie option. There are any number of amazing combinations.

1 comment:

  1. We're heading out to a cabin I rented for the weekend so I just made this to bring along. Looks & smells delicious!!!! Thanks for the recipe:)