Wheat Berries with Pancetta, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Pepitas

By Amanda Hesser
October 12, 2016
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Author Notes: 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

Serves: 4 to 6

  • Salt
  • 2 cups wheat berries
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
  • 1 cup leftover roasted butternut squash
  • 1/3 cup pepitas, toasted
  • 2 cups chopped lacinato kale
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour the dressing over the wheat berry salad, and gently toss to coat. Let sit 30 minutes before serving.

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