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Wheat Berry Salad with Snow Peas and Carrots

This simple salad is very healthful and high in fiber. Wheat berries are whole kernels of wheat, and their mild flavor lets this savory Asian-inspired dressing shine. Carrots and snow peas mark this as a springtime dish. Look for interesting varieties of carrots in different colors, and use a mandoline to slice them paper-thin.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 6 cups water, plus more as needed
  • 1 tsp. salt

For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup peanut oil
  • 1 tsp. toasted sesame oil
  • 2 Tbs. rice vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. honey or sugar
  • 1 to 2 tsp. soy sauce

  • 4 carrots, peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 lb. snow peas, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into thin slices
  • Handful of radish sprouts or other sprouts

Directions:

In a saucepan, combine the wheat berries and the 6 cups water. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook, uncovered, until the grains are tender, about 1 hour, adding more water if needed. When the wheat berries are almost done, add the salt. When they are tender, drain and rinse briefly under cold running water. Drain again and let cool in the colander.

Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut oil, sesame oil, vinegar, honey and 1 tsp. of the soy sauce. Taste and add more soy sauce if desired. Put the wheat berries in a bowl and add the vinaigrette, gently mixing. Let stand at room temperature for 1 to 2 hours, if possible, before adding the vegetables.

Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium-high heat. Have ready a bowl of ice water. Add the carrots and blanch until just tender but still slightly crunchy, 2 to 3 minutes, adding the snow peas during the last 30 seconds. Drain and plunge the vegetables into the ice water, then remove and pat dry.

Add the vegetables to the wheat berries and toss gently. Garnish with the radish sprouts and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Salad of the Day, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2012).