This is one recipe I was sad to cut from my and Merrill's new book, A New Way to Dinner. Here, I like to play up wheat berries' nuttiness with sweet, caramelized butternut squash and pepitas, but keep the salad bright with zippy vinegars and mustard in the dressing. You can eat this salad warm or room temperature—what grain salad is any fun cold? And you may find that if you have leftovers, they’ll need a little re-seasoning the next day. —Amanda Hesser
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the wheat berries and cook until just tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and store in a container in the fridge.
The day of: In a sauté pan, cook the pancetta over medium heat until browned. In a large bowl, toss the pancetta, butternut squash, pepitas, and kale with the wheat berries—mix gently.
In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, the vinegars, and the mustard. Season with salt and pepper. Slowly whisk in the olive oil, allowing the dressing to emulsify as you go. Taste and adjust the seasoning until you like it.
Pour the dressing over the wheat berry salad, and gently toss to coat. Let sit 30 minutes before serving.
Before starting Food52 with Merrill, I was a food writer and editor at the New York Times. I've written several books, including "Cooking for Mr. Latte" and "The Essential New York Times Cookbook." I played myself in "Julie & Julia" -- hope you didn't blink, or you may have missed the scene! I live in Brooklyn with my husband, Tad, and twins, Walker and Addison.