Winter Wheat Berry Salad –broccoli, dried cherries, and toasted walnuts tossed in a sweet and savory dressing.
I totally have your new favorite lunch, right here, right now.
How has your January been? Kind of insane that it’s already over, isn’t it? So many heavy things happened this January, and I don’t necessarily want to, or need to, get into them all right now, but I do think it’s important that during these times we remember to take care of ourselves and those we love.
So to do precisely just that, and to lighten things up, I’ve got this Winter Wheat Berry Salad for y’all!
This recipe was inspired by a deli salad I used to get at a natural foods store back in high school – a blend of wheat berries, broccoli, dried fruit, and the mix of sweet and savory in the dressing. I loved taking this salad for lunches; it kept me satisfied and was delicious!
Fast forward a few years (ok, or several… or many…) and I remembered how easy it was to take for lunch, because it required no work (ha, ok, because I was obviously buying it…) and I realized I needed it back in my life RIGHT NOW.
Side note: right now is quickly becoming the theme of this post. Now is the time, my friends!
Ok, so since we’re here because we love to make quick and easy recipes – that are homemade and not necessarily bought from the store – this recipe is close to no work. I tried to make it as simple as possible so your meal prep is a breeze.
Do be warned: the wheat berries do take almost an hour to cook. However, all they have to do is sit and simmer for an hour – no need for you to babysit them the entire time. You can mix up the dressing, fold laundry, or down a glass of wine and catch up on Grey’s Anatomy.
The dressing is that combination of sweet and savory with a mix of maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard. The wheat berries continue to absorb the dressing in the salad and just get even more scrumptious and burst with flavor in every bite! Mix in the broccoli, dried cherries, toasted walnuts, and scallions for bursts of flavor!
So many favorite things about this salad:
- Mix it up and go!
- Quick, easy, pre-made lunches for the week
- It’s healthy
- So much flavor
- Sweet and savory
With that being said, go forth and make your new favorite winter salad that’s going to take your lunches to a whole new level!
- 3 cups water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup hard red winter wheat berries
- 1 bunch broccoli, chopped into bite sized pieces (~2 cups)
- 1 cup dried cherries
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts, toasted
- ¼ cup good balsamic vinegar
- 3 Tablespoons real maple syrup
- 2 Tablespoons shallot, chopped
- 2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Pepper to taste
- 3 - 3½ Tablespoons olive oil
- Scallions to garnish as desired
- Bring water, salt, and wheat berries to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and cover; simmer for 40 minutes and begin checking for doneness. Continue to check wheat berries every 5 minutes until cooked through; they will be chewy but not hard. Generally mine cook for 50-55 minutes.
- Meanwhile, mix dressing by whisking together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, shallot, garlic, mustard, salt, and pepper. Slowly whisk in olive oil.
- Toast walnuts in small skillet over low-medium heat until fragrant, being careful not to burn.
- Once wheat berries are cooked, drain and mix with broccoli, dried cherries, and walnuts. Toss with dressing. Serve immediately or store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.