Monday, January 9, 2012

Meatless Monday--Wheat Berry and Arugula Salad

Here's another winner from America's Test Kitchen.  The minute I saw it, I knew I wanted to make it.  The flavors sounded delicious and I was sure they would keep my endeavors in eating healthier, more balanced meals interesting and tasty.  I've had wheat berries before and really loved their nutty, slightly sweet taste and firm bite.  I wasn't sure if I'd be able to find them, but this recipe made me want to give it a good shot.  Luckily, I found them on my first try at a local farmer's market-style grocery store.  Having made the salad now, I think farro would also work well.

The blend of flavors in this salad were absolutely perfect.  No one ingredient took over another; they all complimented each other perfectly to make for a bright and hearty salad that tasted like something I might order for lunch in a spa.  Any salad that can make a 30-minute lunch break in my classroom feel like spa time is a definite winner.  This may be my new favorite lunch.

Wheat Berry and Arugula Salad
from America's Test Kitchen Best Recipes and Reviews 2011

For the dressing:
1 c. orange juice (from about 2 oranges)
1/4 c. chopped cilantro
2 TBSP fresh lime juice
2 TBSP water
1 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
2 tsp. honey
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper

For the salad:
1 c. wheat berries
1/2 tsp. salt, plus more to taste 
1 (15-oz.) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 c. jarred roasted red peppers, drained, patted dry, and chopped
2 oz. feta, crumbled (about 1/2 c.)
black pepper, to taste
8 oz. baby arugula

1.  Bring 4 quarts water to a boil in a large pot.  Add wheat berries and 1/2 tsp. salt, partially cover, and cook, stirring often, until tender and chewy, about 1 hour.  Drain and rinse under cold water until cool.  Transfer to a large bowl.

2.  Meanwhile, make the dressing by bringing the orange juice to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.  Reduce the heat to medium and cook until juice is syrupy and reduced to 1/3 cup, 12-15 minutes.

3.  Transfer the orange juice to a small bowl and refrigerate until cool, about 10 minutes.  Whisk in all other dressing ingredients and set aside.  

4.  To assemble the salad, stir the chickpeas, red peppers, feta, and half the dressing into the bowl with wheat berries.  Salt and pepper to taste.

5.  In a separate bowl, toss dressing with the remaining dressing.  (If planning making for lunches, omit the step and drizzle dressing over composed salad.)  Divide arugula among four plates and top with 1 c. of wheat berry mixture. 


branny said...

The dressing looks really delicious.

Cate said...

I just made this with cannellini beans instead of garbanzos and we LOVED it! Thank you for the great recipe!