I watched Giada De Laurentiis turn Wheat Berries into a gorgeous summer salad on The Food Network and thought: “that looks easy”, so I ran out and bought a package of whole wheat berries and… they have been sitting in the pantry for close to 4 months now! Every time I would open the pantry door, I would see them staring back, mocking me. Finally, I decided enough is enough, so I googled “how to cook wheat berries”. I couldn’t believe how easy it is, then I mocked myself for ever being scared of a wheat berry to begin with!
So, I say, “Don’t be afraid! Here’s how!”
2 cups of wheat berries
2 bay leaves
4 cups of cold water
4 cups of chicken stock
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup blueberries
1 cup garbanzo beans
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
Start by soaking 2 cups of wheat berries in water, in the fridge, overnight. Throw the wheat berries in a deep pot with 2 bay leaves 4 cups of cold water and 4 cups of chicken stock, bring it to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and let them simmer away! Depending on what texture you prefer, your cook time will vary, but the minimum should be about an hour and can go up to two hours if you like them really soft. Drain your wheat berries in a colander and allow them to cool. That’s it! Yep. Really!
Now the fun part! Wheat berries are so versatile! You can throw in whatever you’re in the mood for! Giada’s recipe features strawberries, mint and goat cheese! I decided to go a more ‘finger food’ route with my first attempt, making sure to include V’s favorite ingredients, thinking it would be a great trail mix type of snack to bring hiking. Over my chilled wheat berries, I threw in chopped cucumber, blueberries and garbanzo beans, then mixed it with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the juice of one lemon.