Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wheatberry Salad

At last week's Future of Food conference, one component of our delicious lunch was a wheatberry and apple salad. It reminded me quite a lot of a salad I had created for a food52 contest and was inspired by a sweet and salty tapa at Jose Andres' (last night's James Beard award winner!) Jaleo, which is simply matchsticks of green apple and manchego cheese in a vinaigrette.

This makes a hearty meatless lunch or dinner, and if you omit the cheese, could be a lovely salad alongside some chicken apple sausage or a bit of fish, pork or chicken.

Wheatberry Salad with Apples and Manchego

(Serves 4 - 6 as a side dish, 3 or 4 as a light lunch)

1 cup wheatberries
3 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoon whole grain mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton de la Vera)
couple of pinches salt, plus more to taste
couple of grinds black pepper, plus more to taste
1/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 - 1 1/2 tart apples. Granny Smith are fine, but Suncrisp would be stellar
1/3 to 1/2 pound Manchego cheese
2 -3 ounces arugula
1/3 cup dried, tart cherries, roughly chopped if particularly large

1. Soak the wheatberries overnight in water to cover by a couple of inches. When you're ready to cook them, drain and place in a medium to large saucepan with three cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer for anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes. Begin checking them at 30 minutes - you want to see the endosperm appear at one end and they should be a little chewy but not tough. Drain the wheatberries and then immediately place back into the hot pan and cover and let steam off the heat for another ten minutes. Transfer cooked wheatberries into a medium sized bowl.

2. In a small bowl, add the ingredients from the vinegar through the salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Then stream in the olive oil while whisking

3. Add the red onion into the vinaigrette and stir a little so that the onions are submerged.

4. Peel, core and dice the apple and add to the wheatberries.

5. Dice up the Manchego cheese and add that to the bowl as well.

6. Pour the vinaigrette over the wheatberry/apple/Manchego mix in the bowl and stir to coat all the ingredients. Check for salt and pepper.

7. Either individually plate or serve over bed of arugula. Garnish with the dried cherries.

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