Doesn’t this salad look interesting and delicious?
I thought so.
However, I cannot follow recipes, it seems.
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.
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.
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.
spring mix lettuces
2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
2 apples, diced*
1/2 c wheat berries, dry
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