Wheatberry Salad with Apples & Walnuts

January 11, 2011
1 Ratings
  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 1 hour
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

I love salads—I eat some version of salad for lunch practically every day. But in the winter, I need heat. I frequently use different grains—rice, quinoa, wheatberries—to make a salad that’s warm and substantial. For this salad, I used wheatberries (but farro or a mixture of grains would work also) and made a dressing by stewing apples and onions together with ginger, a little champagne vinegar and red pepper flakes. The salad is tasty and filling without being heavy—a perfect mid-winter (or late spring--when there's still a nip in the air--) lunch. - drbabs —drbabs

Test Kitchen Notes

Drbabs’ salad is a great balance of warmth in the nutty, chewy wheatberries and a sweet and sour compote dressing that gets a flavor boost of fresh ginger and crushed pepper (both of which I was generous with), combined with cool from sweet and tart apples, fragrant fennel and peppery arugula. Each component is tasty in its own right, but together they become a balanced and irresistible whole. I could not stop eating it – we had it alongside roast chicken and I polished it off the next day for lunch. —aargersi

What You'll Need
  • Wheatberries & Dressing
  • 1 cup wheatberries
  • water and salt for cooking wheatberries
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 1 small sweet onion, cut into fine dice
  • 1 small sweet apple (honeycrisp), cut into fine dice
  • 1 small tart apple (Granny Smith), cut into fine dice
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon champagne (or apple cider) vinegar
  • Salad
  • 1-4 tablespoons olive oil, depending on taste
  • 1/2 bulb, fennel, sliced with a mandoline
  • 1 small sweet apple, cored and cut into quarters, and sliced with a mandoline
  • 1 small tart apple, cored and cut into quarters, and sliced with a mandoline
  • 1/2 cup baby arugula, finely chopped
  • 1-2 scallions, white and light green parts only, finely chopped
  • More vinegar, salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  1. Wheatberries & Dressing
  2. Bring salted (you should be able to taste the salt) water to a boil, and cook the wheatberries till tender but not mushy. (Mine took about an hour.) Drain and cover to keep warm.
  3. While the wheatberries are cooking, heat the oil in a small skillet over med-high heat and sauté the onions with a pinch of salt till they are soft and translucent. Stir in the apples and ginger and continue to sauté, stirring, till the apples are soft. The onions may be golden and starting to brown. Stir in vinegar and red pepper flakes (if using) and deglaze pan, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce the heat to very low, and cover, stirring occasionally, till onions and apples are very soft and starting to melt together. Let them cook until the wheatberries are done--the apples and onions will melt together into a thick warm compote.
  4. Also while the wheatberries and dressing are cooking, prepare the ingredients for the salad, listed below:
  1. Salad
  2. Stir apple-onion mixture into wheatberries till well blended. Add 1 TB olive oil and mix together. Taste. You may need more olive oil, or if you’re like me, you will prefer it on the tart side. Stir in fennel, apple, arugula and scallions. Taste and adjust seasoning to your preference. Toss walnuts into salad and serve immediately. The salad is best when slightly warm or room temperature.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • aargersi
  • cowgirlculture
  • drbabs
  • Sagegreen
  • nannydeb

9 Reviews

aargersi April 5, 2011
I just started another batch of this - love this stuff!!!!
drbabs April 5, 2011
cowgirlculture January 13, 2011
This looks so great!
drbabs January 14, 2011
Thanks! Please let me know if you try it!
drbabs January 11, 2011
Sagegreen January 11, 2011
Yum. And what a great photo to capture the taste.
drbabs January 11, 2011
Thanks. And I'm glad you like the photo!
nannydeb January 11, 2011
That sounds tasty!
drbabs January 12, 2011
Woops, i meant to reply here. Thanks!