Friday, October 14, 2011

Wheat Berry And Cranberry Salad

I'm sharing this recipe because it's Breast Cancer Awareness Month and because I'm contributing a cookbook recipe to Louise's Cookbook Party at Months of Edible Celebrations (open to everyone). This recipe falls under the Cranberry Month category.

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

We arrive!

A wheel barrel and wheat berry salad await us

Chatty Ladies

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.


  1. I'm not sure where I'd find wheatberries, but I'll be on the lookout. I don't think there's one among us who hasn't been affected by breast cancer in some way. Kudos to you for doing what you can!

  2. Linda-you are such a sweetheart, and a wonderful dear friend. Love the wheatberry and cranberry also pares so nice with turkey.
    The photos are fabulous. Love the ladies' shadow clever, and creative, and all the other great ones, as well!

    Thank you for linking up to my page with the cancer awareness. It's so important to get support; there's been so much development since the 30+ yrs since my mother passed away from this terrible disease, and 2+ yrs since Cara's mother died.
    Have a wonderful weekend!

  3. This looks YUMMY! I'll have to pass it onto a friend - she was asking for a fall wheat berry recipe and this sounds perfect. Thanks!!

  4. Great post. Love the recipe and photos.

  5. Oh, I'm going to have to hunt down some wheatberries because this salad looks fabulous! It looks like the sort of thing I'd keep in the fridge and eat for lunch every day till it was gone...savoring every delicious spoonful

    Your photos are stunning...Block Island is so beautiful! Have a great weekend...thanks so much for saying hi today :)

  6. Oh Linda, you have touched my heart in more ways than you could ever know.

    Thank you so much for contributing this inspiring recipe to the Cookbook Party. What an admirable tribute to survival. Thank you:)

  7. Thank you all so much! Hope you get a chance to make it this season. It's so easy and it is so versatile. Lizzy, I have been snacking on it just like you said. Louise, this is the perfect time to share this cookbook and story. Thanks for the opportunity!

  8. Un post muy bonito y excelente ensalada ,luce espectacular,abrazos grandes.

  9. I'm cooking this soon. (:

  10. Yummy recipe thanks for sharing your photos too!!!

  11. Every lady should have an island getaway like that!

    Cranberries are a sure sign of fall and the approaching holidays. I love them in almost anything. The salad looks terrific--I've never attempted it but I think I soon will. My kids love all things cranberry, too! :)

  12. That's a unique and delicious looking salad. This sounds like a very healthy salad too.

  13. Very good composition. I love what you do. Healthy eating. This can always be found here.