I learned about this salad from my close friend when her mom had breast cancer. I'm very happy to say that she survived her long and difficult battle. She is also my neighbor and friend and I can't tell you enough how happy I was to see her gardening again this summer.
My friend bought this, The Pink Ribbon Diet, cookbook so she could cook healthy meals for her mom when she was weak. I've tried the salad at her house and another friend made it recently, who is also a neighbor and friend of my friend's mom (sorry about the confusion). She made it during a girl's weekend at her summer home on Block Island that I was invited to in September and I've been wanting to make it ever since.
The Beautiful Block Island
A wheel barrel and wheat berry salad await us
|Artists setting up easels at The Spring House on a foggy morning|
|Back on mainland|
Wheat Berry And Cranberry Salad
If you look for the recipe in the cookbook it's actually called Wheat Berry Salad. Since I doubled the recipe, I changed some of the ingredient portions that I thought would overwhelm the flavor if they were also doubled. So I doubled wheat berries down to cranberries but kept remaining ingredients portions the same, as explained in parentheses.
1 cup hard red winter wheat berries (instead of 1/2)
2 cups chopped pecans (instead of 1)
2 cups dried cranberries (instead of 1)
1/2 red onion, medium (same, I didn't double)
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil (same, I didn't double)
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, I used regular but white would be nice (same, I didn't double)
Salt and black pepper to taste (I just used pepper)
First rinse the wheat berries in a strainer then place in a pot and cover with about two inches of water. Let them soak overnight or eight hours (according to the package). Drain. I soaked the wheat berries at 8 in the morning and they were ready by 3 pm.
The recipe says to then simmer the wheat berries for about 50 minutes in 4 cups of water until soft but chewy, or less for a firmer texture. However, after soaking my wheat berries for eight hours, they were already soft and chewy so I eliminated this step.
While the wheat berries cool (if you cook them). Make the dressing by whisking oil, vinegar, and pepper together. In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries with pecans, dried cranberries, and red onion. Pour dressing over and mix together.
Serve at room temperature or cold.
Tastes great like this - an easy busy school night meal with a rotisserie chicken (organic/no salt/Whole Foods). Tastes great just by itself as a salad, or over red or other soft lettuce, with sandwiches, along side pork, ham, or with turkey on Thanksgiving.