Wheat Berry Salad with Carrots and Raisins
I’ve had wheat berries on the brain, big time. It’s like the universe knew, too, because as I was reading blogs last week I came across this one on Oh She Glows for Carrot Raisin Spelt Berry Salad (you can swap the spelt for wheat berries) which she adapted from Leslie Beck’s Carrot Wheat Berry Salad, which she apparently adapted from Cooking Light. I had all the ingredients on hand and couldn’t wait to get home to whip up a batch, but wanted to adapt it myself a little more and cook the wheat berries in our rice cooker.
So this is my (adapted) version.
- 2 cups uncooked wheat berries, rinsed
- 4 cups water
- 5 medium sized carrots, peeled and chopped into small 1/4” pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp Balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1 cup jumbo raisins
- salt and pepper to taste
- small bunch of parsley, stems removed and minced
I put the wheat berries, water, garlic, vinegar, and lemon juice in the rice cooker and set-it-and-forget-it. Typically it takes 1-2 hours to fully cook that much grain in the rice cooker, but at close to 2 hours the berries weren’t even close to done. I think it was because of that extra bit of liquid from the lemon juice.
Once the wheat berries were close to cooked, I added the carrots and raisins, closed the lid, and let it cook some more. The raisins nearly tripled in size! They basically turned back into plump, juicy grapes after soaking up so much moisture. I loved it!
Once everything was cooked, I mixed in the cumin, paprika, salt, pepper and parsley.
Chew, chew, chew. Wheat berries are so chewy and that’s what I love about them. Their texture is dense with a little bit of oomph to it, setting them apart from basic grains like rice or couscous. I loved the slightly sweet and sour mix from the lemon juice and raisins, and the hint of freshness from the parsley.
If you decide to make this and don’t have a rice cooker, cook the wheat berries according to the package directions along with the lemon juice like I did, but cut the water by ¼ of a cup. Add in the carrots and raisins a few minutes before the wheat berries are done cooking, like I did, so you don’t have to cook them separately.
This dish was tasty hot and cold, and was so satisfying thanks to the heartiness of those wheat berries.
Do you have a favorite wheat berry recipe to share? I’m looking for more!