Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Warming winter grain salad

This recipe is adapted from My New Roots. I couldn’t find wheat berries, so I used farro instead, but I think quinoa would be good too; I also used 2 shallots instead of a red onion, and to tame their bite, I roasted them with the carrots. I omitted the olives, and while I threw in some walnuts, you could omit the nuts if you are so inclined. And you know what? I’m in love with this salad. It was exactly what I wanted! I used 1 ¼ cups of farro, which gave 4 small servings.

For the salad
2 cups wheat berries
7 – 9 carrots (a 1-lb. bag)
1 small red onion, sliced
6 cloves garlic
vegetable oil of choice
½ cup dark raisins or chopped dates
2 tsp. sea salt
flat leaf parsley
½ cup almonds, pecans or walnuts (optional)

For the dressing
1 ½ lemons – juice and zest
3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp. raw honey or agave
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
½ ground coriander
1 tsp. ground cumin
pinch of sea salt

If possible, soak wheat berries overnight or for 8+ hours. Otherwise, rinse wheat berries well until the water is clear. Measure 6 cups water and add to a large pot with wheat berries. Add 1 tsp. sea salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer until cooked, approx. 1 hour. (If using another grain, like farro or quinoa, follow the directions on the package.)

Preheat oven to 400˚F.

Wash and slice carrots lengthwise from top to bottom, then again once more on each half. Then slice the carrot across widthwise so you have eight carrots slices.

Mince garlic and combine with oil. Drizzle over carrots and onion slices and toss to coat on a baking sheet. Season with 1 tsp. salt. Place in oven. Roast for 15-20 minutes (I left them in 25 minutes), or until golden and slightly caramelized.

Make dressing by combining all ingredients and whisking well.

Remove wheat berries from heat, drain and rinse under cool water (you will know they are cooked when some of the berries have split open. They will still be very chewy). Combine wheat berries with dressing, raisins, olives, and chopped parsley. Let sit and marinate for as long as possible, or fold in the carrots as soon as they are roasted to your liking. Serve warm or cold, garnished with roughly chopped almonds and a grind of fresh black pepper.

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