Apple and Wheat Berry Salad

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Doesn’t this salad look interesting and delicious?

I thought so.

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However, I cannot follow recipes, it seems.

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I did not have pumpkin seeds…but I had sunflower kernels!  Same thing, right?

Also, instead of quinoa, I decided to something else that I had splurged on just a few days before: wheat berries.  I first heard of them while I was perusing Panera Bread’s menu online last fall.  They had a salad that included wheat berries.  Having no clue what wheat berries were, I had to look it up.  Well, as with most foods, looking it up only helps so much.  I wouldn’t truly understand until I tried it myself.

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Sadly, that trip to Panera was canceled last minute, and I did not get to try the wheat berry salad.  When I saw this salad, I knew I should take the opportunity and try a new food.

So do wheat berries taste like berries?  Um, not like any berry I have ever tried, and I think that is a good thing.  It is more like a very flavourful oatmeal.  It definitely has more flavour than quinoa, and has larger, more satisfying pieces.  Also, it does pair very well with berries.  Which, I think has absolutely nothing to do with the naming of this food, but whatever.

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A dash of sea salt really makes this dish.  Then you have sweet (from the apples and aptly-named sweet potatoes, and even slightly from the wheat berries, in my opinion), savory (from the rosemary and sunflower kernels), and salty.  Perfect.  You also have contrasting textures: soft (roasted sweet potato), crisp (apple), chewy (wheat berries), and crunchy (sunflower kernels).  You get a little bit of everything in this salad, as it should be.

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The Recipe

Ingredients

spring mix lettuces

2 medium sweet potatoes, diced

olive oil

salt

2 apples, diced*

1/2 c wheat berries, dry

rosemary

dry roasted sunflower kernels, as desired

Servings: 3 salads

Heat oven to 400oF.  Dice the sweet potato into small cubes and toss with olive oil and salt.  Spread on a baking sheet and roast for approximately 25 minutes, or until soft in the center and golden brown on the edges.  Meanwhile, dice the apples and toss with a little bit of lemon juice to prevent browning.  Bring 1 1/3 c of water to a boil in a small pot and stir in the wheat berries.  Simmer for 15-18 minutes, or until tender.  When the sweet potatoes are ready, layer the apples, sweet potatoes, wheat berries, and sunflower kernels on the lettuce in a small bowl.  Sprinkle with rosemary and salt.  Enjoy!

*I used Macintosh

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