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Mar 9, 2010 07:48 PM

Fabulous wheat berry recipes.........?

A few weeks ago I had a dish that included wheat berries at a local fancy restaurant where I live outside of Boston and it was one of the holiest meal experiences I have had. The waiter said we don't find them much here because they are local to Italy (or something... I was a bit woozy with food joy). I was wondering, if I happened to procure some, if anyone could suggest how to fix them up right?

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  1. cooking them is easy - you actually don't have to soak them overnight, though some people do it anyway. just rinse the grains well, and bring a pot of broth, stock, or salted water to a boil. add the wheat berries to the boiling liquid, lower the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until they reach the consistency/doneness you like. this can take anywhere from 45 - 90 minutes depending on your preference, so start testing them after 45 minutes. when done, drain well, and proceed with your preferred recipe.

    in terms of the volume of cooking liquid, use a ratio of 3 or 4 parts water to 1 part wheat berries. so for each cup of wheat berries, you'll need 3-4 cups of cooking liquid.

    as far as recipes go, you can add them to your favorite oatmeal preparation (or other hot cereal grains) for texture and additional nutrients. they're also great in lentil or vegetable soup, or combine with your favorite veggies and vinaigrette or sauce as a cold or warm salad.

    sweet & tangy Curried Wheat Berry Salad was always one of my favorites when i could still eat them. here's a recipe:
    i'd toast the almonds, use currants or dried cranberries instead of raisins, fold in a teaspoon of lemon or lime zest, and add a pinch of cayenne.

    7 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      The curried wheat berry salad sounds great. I'm going to try that one.

      Here's another wheat berry salad I like, wheat berry waldorf salad:

      1. re: karykat

        it's delicious! i miss wheat berries. sigh. but i'm glad this thread came up to remind me about that dish - i need to make it with quinoa instead.

      2. re: goodhealthgourmet

        I just made this curried wheat berry salad tody for a BBQ potluck (and then didn't go so we got to keep it all)! :) (fiendish grin)

        It's really yummy! I don't even like curry flavor and this was gooooood. So good that i think I will def have a bellyache later from so many wheat berries! Easy to boot...I used dried crans instead of raisins but otherwise followed the directions.

        Thanks GHG!

        1. re: amyamelia

          well i'm not so happy about the idea of your impending tummy ache, but i'm glad you enjoyed it!

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Oh GHG you are too sweet. The bellyache never appeared in full form, though certainly not because I exercised any restraint. Perhaps it was the overnight soak of the berries that helped in that department. Love this recipe and will make it again for another potluck (hope to actually make it to this one)!

        2. I love wheatberries! I cook them like GHG says below- very hard to burn a pot of wheatberries.

          Made some recently with shredded sauteed kale and carmelized onions with some feta cheese. A friend makes it like tabbouleh- tons of chopped fresh parsley, cucumbers, colorful peppers, and chopped tomato. Her love it warm or cold.

          They're not so hard to find- you just have to know where to look. I drove myself nuts looking for wheatberries in Whole Foods, until a super-nice employee told me they're not always packaged as 'wheatberries.' Arrowhead Mills (clear package with blue trim) calls them "whole grain wheat." I've seen them in regular supermarkets too- not only the fancy/gourmet ones.

          Here's the link-

          1 Reply
          1. re: cheesecake17

            My local WF has wheat berries in bulk, but I get mine for about 40 cents a pound from a co-op.

            1. Bob's Red Mill sells wheat berries in 2 lb bags - cheap and delicious. They may have been serving farro at the restaurant, which could explain the "local to Italy" part - you can get farro, a relative of wheat berries, here - but it's tougher to find and much more expensive. You can also try whole spelt - similar to wheat berries.

              1. You could cook them like barley for a wheat berry pilaf. Or you could make a loaf of Amy Schreiber's amazing Coarse-Grained Whole Wheat with Toasted Walnuts. It's a yeast bread baked from a starter and risen overnight in the fridge but it's MORE than well worth the time and effort. It's one of my very favorite breads of all time and space.

                Here's a recipe from a blog written in German. Blessedly, the recipe is in English. Just keep in mind that tasse/tassen is cup/s, teel is teaspoon and essl. is tablespoons.

                If you want an easier bread, use any whole or mixed grain bread and knead in soaked and cooked wheat berries.