Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese, and a Sherry Vinaigrette
August 21, 2011 § 2 Comments
My sister was home from college this summer and came to our house for a weekly dinner + trashy television date. It may have been the first time in a long time I looked forward to Monday rolling around each week (shoot, now I’ve really narrowed down the trashy television roster…). Anyway, this was one of her favorite dinners we had, so for the last Monday before heading back to school, I decided to make her a new variation on a wheat berry salad. I think I’ve successfully sold her on the wheat berry. Now all I need to figure out is how to freeze a big batch, package it, and ship it to Memphis….
This wheat berry salad had roasted red and golden beets, wasabi greens (I had never heard of these before stumbling upon them at Trader Joe’s–they really do taste like wasabi), and goat cheese folded into it and was tossed in a sherry vinaigrette. I think I can remember a time when I didn’t like beets, but now I really enjoy their earthiness, texture, and clean finish–especially when paired with peppery greens and a rich, tangy goat cheese. I noticed the golden beets tasted a bit milder than the red ones–if the thought of beets makes you a little uneasy, perhaps you should start with the golden variety.
The colors are simply outstanding (these pictures don’t even do them justice), but the beets will end up staining almost anything they touch (including your skin), so you may want to wear gloves or use a paper towel as a barrier (and bib your husband).
I love how the beets even tinted the wheat berries after being tossed with them. This one is definitely being added to my permanent rotation of power salads. Now that I have this wonderful autumnal version, all I need are winter and spring variations, and my wheat berry salad calendar will be complete!
What you need:
- beets (red, golden, or any combination)
- wheat berries
- peppery greens (arugula/rocket, wasabi greens)
- goat cheese
- sherry vinegar
- dijon mustard
- sugar (or honey)
- extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat oven to 400F. Rinse beets thoroughly and pat them dry. Trim off any long roots or stems. Place the beets on a sheet of foil, drizzle them with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Seal the beets in the foil and roast in the oven for about 1 hour. Open up the foil packets to allow them to cool, then remove their skins by gently rubbing them with a paper towel. Roughly chop them into bite-size pieces and set aside.
- Place 1 part wheat berries to 3 parts water (e.g., 2 c wheat berries : 6 c water) and 1-2 t salt in a large pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer the wheat berries, covered, for about 1 hour or until they are tender but still chewy. While the wheat berries simmer away, prepare the vinaigrette by combining 1-2 finely chopped shallots, 1/4 c sherry vinegar, 1 t dijon mustard, 1-2 t sugar or honey, and 1/3 c olive oil. Whisk to combine and season with salt and pepper.
- When the wheat berries have finished cooking, drain them, place them in a large bowl, and add the sherry vinaigrette, roasted beets, about 2 handfuls of greens (roughly chopped if you prefer), and a generous amount of crumbled goat cheese. Once everything is combined, season to taste with salt and pepper and add an extra drizzle of olive oil before serving.