Monday, May 24, 2010

Wheatberry Salad

shortly after deciding to drastically reduce my amount of packaged food intake, i realized this would mean even more thought and preparation into our weekly meals. however, with a little forethought and planning i think it will be doable. E and i took a trip to wegmans together on friday and i stocked up with these thoughts in mind.

sunday i made a huge batch of sour cream and onion kale chips, roasted veggie packed burgers, and wheatberry salad. what is wheatberry salad you ask? it may just be the best summer dish. seriously. period.
have you ever eaten a life-changing dish? something you taste and realize you cannot live the rest of your life without this dish? now that you have tasted this amazing bite of insanely good food, you can't possibly go back to never having it again? well, if you are a "foodie" the answer is most likley not only yes but you can list the dishes right now. wheatberry salad is on my list.

almost exactly two years ago, i consumed wheatberry salad at my wonderfully fabulous cousin's wedding (happy almost anniversary G and B). after going back for thirds (i'm not kidding), i knew i had to get my grubby hands on that recipe. Buddy, the genius behind panache catering in baltimore got this recipe from a family who requested he make it for a family wedding because everyone loved it so much it was always requested. he had since added it to his repertoire and has no doubt been getting calls just like mine. along the lines of "i have to have that wheatberry salad recipe. please, i'll do anything!" (side note: if you live in the balitmore area and need an event catered i know of 2 excellent ones - buddy at panache and beth at thyme for you.)

luckily G was able to get it from him and i have been making it ever since. i have even tweaked it enough that it is quite possibly now the perfect recipe. every time i make it for company, they love it and ask for the recipe. when i make it for clients, they inevitably ask for it again and again.

i have to admit, i secretly don't want to give the recipe out. i want it to be my little secret that everyone wishes they knew how to duplicate. but, alas, since that family was nice enough to give buddy the recipe and he was nice enough to share it with G, who gave it to me, i feel i have no choice but to keep the goodness going. is it bad that i give out the original recipe without my little tweaks?? God forgive me:)
so, here it is in all its glory. even with my changes. you must make this and soon. you will be thanking me and making it all summer long. it does make a lot but i highly recommend making the whole recipe because you will want leftovers. i promise. 

Wheatberry Salad
(makes 6-8 servings unless you are like me and make a meal out of it)

1 cup wheatberries
4-6 cups chicken stock
1-2 cups water
3 tbs fresh lime juice
1 tbs white wine vinegar
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
1 can artichoke hearts, drained and cut into eighths
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
4-5 green onions, thinly sliced (sometimes i use minced red onion if i don't have green on hand)

bring wheatberries to a boil in chicken stock. reduce heat to medium low (to simmer) and cook for approximately 2 hours. add water as needed to keep the wheatberries covered. check for doneness after 2 hours (wheatberries will be chewy but not hard). remove from heat, drain, and let cool when finished cooking.

meanwhile, whisk together lime juice, vinegar, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. add cooked wheatberries, halved tomatoes, artichoke hearts, feta, and green onions.

stir well and enjoy. keep in fridge until ready to serve. stir well before serving.

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