Wheat berries are the entire wheat kernel (except for the hull), composed of the bran, germ, and endosperm. If wheat berries are milled, whole-wheat flour is produced. This grain does not get mushy when cooked. If it seems too chewy for you after cooking, you may want to consider soaking them overnight (although I enjoyed the texture).
When you make this salad, you’ll think to yourself…uncooked carrots? All that oil? That much onion? But this recipe comes from Ina Garten’s cookbook “Barefoot Contessa: Family Style.” It’s Ina! You know it’s good! So do what Ina tells you to do and you’ll love this as much as I do.
Wheat Berry Salad from Ina Garten
Place the wheat berries and 3 cups of boiling salted water in a saucepan and cook, uncovered, over low heat for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain.
Sauté the red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) of olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.
In a large bowl, combine the warm wheat berries, sautéed onions, scallions, red bell pepper, carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the pepper. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the wheatberries to absorb the sauce. Season to taste and serve at room temperature. (It really did get better after sitting around a while).