Wheat Berries with Pancetta, Roasted Butternut Squash, and Pepitas

October 12, 2016
3 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Serves 4 to 6
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

What You'll Need
  • 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.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Amanda Hesser
    Amanda Hesser
  • Chris Glenn
    Chris Glenn
Amanda Hesser

Recipe by: Amanda Hesser

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.

2 Reviews

Chris G. October 28, 2016
I have a question, what is the bowl of green stuff in the picture have to do with this recipe? I sometimes think your food stylist have way to much sway over the pictures that accompany the recipes. Nothing in the recipes says anything about putting the Kale in a blender? Thanks & this comment is not intended to be "snarky," hope it does not sound that way!
Amanda H. October 28, 2016
Hi Chris -- thanks for your note. Since this came from a recipe that didn't make it into the book, not everything in the photo (which was also taken for the book) is as clear as we'd like. But we wanted to share this recipe anyway. The green sauce is what you would make simultaneously make with the salad had the salad been kept in the book. The green sauce is this recipe: https://food52.com/recipes/35763-flank-steak-with-green-sauce