This salad is a favorite due in part to its versatility. Ingredients can easily be changed to suit your family’s likes and dislikes. When making boiled grains it’s always a good idea to make more than you need for the recipe to be refrigerated and have on hand. Boiled grains make a perfect base for a quick meal, salad or grain bowl or to add to a hearty soup or stew. See recipe for perfect cooked wheat berries below. When corn and peaches are not in season I add more red bell pepper for the corn and thawed frozen peaches for the fresh. Don’t worry about being exact. It’s your salad, make it your own.
- 2 cups whole wheat or spelt berries*
- 3 cups water or vegetable broth
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 cups yellow corn kernels (about 2 large ears)
- 1 cup sugar snap peas, cut in 1” pieces
- 1 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups fresh or thawed frozen peaches, cut in cubes
- 1 cup green onions, chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- 6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- Fresh mint for garnish if desired
Cook wheat berries according to directions below. Once pressure has naturally released or after conventional pot has set aside for 15 minutes, but while still hot, add corn and sugar snap peas. Cover and set aside an additional15-20 minutes. Drain excesses liquid and allow to cool completely.
In small bowl, combine 1½ teaspoons salt with lemon juice. Stir to dissolve. Whisk in olive oil, pepper to taste and ground cumin. Set aside.
In large bowl or serving dish, combine red bell peppers, peaches, green onions, and lemon zest. Add the cooled wheat/corn mixture. Toss with the lemon/olive oil dressing. Add mint to garnish if desired. Enjoy.
Makes about 6 main dish portions or 10-12 side dish portions. Refrigerate any left overs.
Perfect Cooked Wheat Berries*
Hearty, chewy and fiber-rich boiled wheat berries are the perfect base for any breakfast, lunch or dinner dish. Slightly chewy but so delicious. If time permits, soaking the grain in water 6-12 hours before cooking can decrease cooking time and make for a softer, plumper cooked grain.
Using a pressure cooker to cook whole grains cuts the cooking time by at least ½. It is my preferred method. But I have given directions for both pressure and conventional method of cooking.
- 2 cups uncooked wheat berries*
- Water for soaking
- 3 cups water or broth of choice
- ½ teaspoon salt
Place wheat berries in a bowl with enough water to completely cover. Let soak 6-12 hours or overnight. Drain.
Pressure cooker method:
On high heat, in a pressure cooker combine soaked wheat berries, 3 cups of water or broth and ½ teaspoon salt. Lock pressure lid into place and bring up to 2nd ring of pressure. Reduce heat to maintain pressure. Cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let pressure naturally release. Open lid. Wheat should be tender and liquid mostly absorbed. Drain any excess liquid.
Conventional Cooking Method:
In a saucepan, combine soaked wheat berries, 3 cups of water of broth and ½ teaspoon salt. On high heat, bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until tender, about 35-45 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for about 15 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.
Makes about 4 cups cooked wheat.
Each cup of whole grain makes about 2 cups of cooked grain.
*Berries is the term for many whole and intact grain seeds, such as wheat, spelt, rye, or Kamut brand Khorasan wheat.