While working on The Land Connection’s 2016 calendar, which will feature foods and recipes that are in season in the Midwest, I discovered wheat berries.
It’s not that I had never heard of them before, it was just that I had never cooked wheat berries myself. I really wanted to include local grains in the calendar, and knew that there are some great small and medium sized farms in Illinois that are growing all kinds of interesting small grains. So when I brought home a bag of the beautiful reddish berries from our local co-op--that had been grown by Hazzard Free Farm--I was thrilled by the flavor and incredible texture these high protein, whole-grains had. And that was before I even added any of the additional ingredients to the salad.
2 Cups wheat berries
2 Shallots, sliced thinly
Herbs from your garden, chopped--use your favorite
1 Tablespoon salt
2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Pepper to taste
1 Bunch kale (or other greens), torn into pieces
1/2 Lemon, juiced
1 Cup of crumbled feta
Cover the wheat berries with a couple of inches of water--you may end up draining the excess water at the end. Add salt and herbs to the water, bring to a boil and the and cook over medium until the wheat berries are soft--up to an hour. When they are done to your liking, remove from heat, drain, and set aside.
When the berries are done, cook the shallots in a cast iron skillet in olive oil until translucent, and then add the kale or other greens just until wilted. Toss the shallots, greens, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, and top with feta cheese.