Wilted Sprout Salad with Wheat Berries and Apples whole grains wheat berries salads recipe kombu food cranberries brussel sprouts apple

This warm salad or side dish was inspired by Terry Walters book Clean Food.  This is a mild dish, the flavours are not overly complicated or intense. I prefer it warm or room temperature. It packs well for lunch too. I’ve been eating away at my batch for several days and it is holding up nicely.

This recipe will look complicated because there are a few things to prepare before you actually toss the salad together.  The wheat berries, the sprouts and the dressing can be prepared ahead of time. The dressing is something that I usually keep on hand (in one form or another) so feel free to use something else that you have. The salad will do better with a mild and sweet dressing. Don’t go with anything too garlicky or herbal this time.

The wheat berries need to be soaked before you cook them. Place them in water an hour before you want to cook them or even overnight. I like to put them in to soak in the morning if I am going to cook them later in the day. Or at night it I want to cook them in the morning.  They  will take 45-50 minutes to become tender. And you may need to drain the excess water at that point.  They will not absorb all the water at the end of cooking time.

I also use kombu when I cook wheat berries (and when I cook beans from scratch).  It is not absolutely necessary for flavour purposes, but it does seem to help soften the berries quickly and according to macrobiotic cooks, the kombu  helps with digestibility of beans and whole grains.  You can use a generous pinch of sea salt instead.

Since the wheat berries are cooked in water, the final dish will need a good pinch of salt to bring out the flavours. Dress it first then taste for seasonings.

Wilted Sprout Salad with Wheat Berries and Apples

Inspired by Clean Food by Terry Walters

Ingredients:

  • Wilted Sprouts as prepared below
  • Wheat berries as prepared below
  • 1/2 cup or so Citrus Vinaigrette as prepared below
  • 2 green scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
  • 1 small apple chopped
  • zest of one orange
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh chopped mint or parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Start the wheat berries first as they will take the longest to cook. These could be made a day ahead if needed.
  2. Wash and slice the sprouts, and prepare as noted below. Again, make ahead if needed.
  3. Prepare vinaigrette.
  4. In a large bowl, combine sprouts, wheat berries, apple, and remaining ingredients.  Add vinaigrette and toss well to combine. Adjust seasoning and serve warm or at room temperature.

Wilted Sprouts

  • 16-18 Brussels sprouts
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon mirin

Thinly slice Brussels sprouts lengthwise.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute for 2-3 minutes or until fragrant. Add sprouts and mirin and saute for 10-15 minutes or until the sprouts are tender and have begun to caramelize.  If they are really sticking to the pan, add a little bit of water. You want the sprouts to get a bit brown. Add salt to taste, remove from the heat and set aside.

Wheat Berries

  • 1-1/2 cups wheat berries
  • 3 cups of water
  • 1 in piece of kombu, or generous pinch of sea salt

Place wheat berries in a medium sized bowl and cover with cool water to soak for a least 1 hour or overnight. Drain and rinse the berries and add to a medium sized sauce pan, add kombu (or sea salt), and bring to boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 45-55 minutes or until wheat berries are tender. Drain and rinse berries under cool water. Discard kombu.

Citrus Dressing

  • Juice of one orange, about 1/3 cup
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 shallot finely minced
  • 1 Tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon white miso paste (optional)
  • salt to taste

The miso in this dressing is optional. I like the saltiness the miso adds, and it also gives the dressing a little extra body. Be careful adding salt if you choose to use the miso, it adds quite a bit of saltiness on its own so taste first before you add any more salt.

In small bowl add orange juice and miso paste and work the miso into the orange juice to dissolve the paste. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk well to combine.  Taste for seasoning. Dressing will keep refrigerated for about 1 week.