Vegetarian Spring Wheat Berry Salad

This Vegetarian Spring Wheat Berry Salad is bursting with fresh spring produce which is nestled between chewy high-fiber wheat berries and tossed in a chive blossom vinaigrette.

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Vegetarian Spring Wheat berry Salad

Sure, sharing how to make homemade chive blossom vinegar ended up being a huge success (yay!). However, I honestly originally brought it up because I have this amazing grain salad recipe (see below!) that uses chive blossom vinegar that I really really wanted to share with you all and knew it would be easier for you to make it if you had chive blossom vinegar on hand. So now that I’ve given you some time to start on your flavored vinegar mixture, let’s talk about this wheat berry salad!

This wheat berry salad is essentially spring in a bowl. I wandered over to the farmers market last Saturday and bought whatever looked tempting. Tiny strawberries, dirty ramps, purple carrots and basil, and little microgreens. I then came home and after washing everything, threw it in a bowl with a hearty helping of wheat berries and chive blossom dressing. And then I ate this salad for lunch for the next three days. It was so simple yet so satisfying and delicious.

I have a long and complicated relationship with wheat berries. We first “met” in high school (maybe it was even middle school) when my stepfather was having digestive issues and the doctor recommended he eat an array of high fiber foods. Back then our dinners mostly consisted of frozen vegetables, iceburg salads that came out of those plastic bags and were drenched in ranch dressing, and some sort of frozen main or pasta.

The one ‘adventurous’ food I remember us eating was wheat berries. My mother would make a big batch of wheat berry salad just to help my stepdad get his daily fiber in. She quietly served it to us like it was just another salad (no announcement or explanation) and thus, we treated it just like another salad. I really didn’t even realize it wasn’t a normal dish to find on a Midwestern table until my friends started asking reluctant questions when they’d stay for dinner (“what is thaaaaat?”).

I almost forgot about wheat berries after heading to college until I found a stash of them in the pantry my senior year. I asked my roommate if they were hers and if I could make a salad out of them and she laughed. She then went on to explain to me that she was “backed up” for an entire week and had turned to only eating mouthfuls of cooked wheat berries in an attempt to relieve the issue. The story had a happy ending in the form of her finally relieving herself (although she didn’t make it to a bathroom, unfortunately). She then told me I was welcome to use her wheat berries as she was a little burnt out on them.

And finally, my present self loves the things. They are chewy, hearty, and make the perfect textured grain salads. Wyatt hates them, which makes it fairly difficult for me to make very often since I have a hard time to eating them all before they go bad. But when I do whip up a batch of the little berries, I savor every bite knowing it’s a special treat that only I will be enjoying on a rare occasion.

wheat berry salad on white serving plate

What’s in Wheat Berry Salad?

To make this simple wheat berry recipe, you’ll need the following:

  • Wheat berries
  • Olive oil
  • Ramps
  • Asparagus
  • Garlic
  • Carrots
  • Bell pepper
  • Strawberries
  • Celery
  • Chive blossom vinegar
  • Fresh basil
  • Salt and pepper
Vegetarian Spring Wheat berry Salad

How to Make Wheat Berry Salad

Not sure how to cook wheat berries? Don’t fret, it’s incredibly simple! Here are the basic steps to cooking wheat berries and making this salad:

  1. How to cook wheat berries: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add in wheat berries, then simmer for 1 hour. Drain and transfer to a mixing bowl.
  2. Then, sauté ramps and asparagus until softened. Add in garlic and cook until fragrant.
  3. Remove the veggies from the heat, then add in the wheat berries, carrots, bell pepper, strawberries, and celery.
  4. Mix the wheat berry salad together, then drizzle with chive blossom vinaigrette.
  5. Chill for 30 minutes before serving.

Can I Use a Wheat Berry Substitute?

If you don’t have wheat berries on hand, you can likely use another chewy whole grain instead. I imagine farro, spelt, freekah, or barley would work.

Vegetarian Spring Wheat berry Salad

Tips for Making Wheat Berry Salad

This wheat berry salad recipe is fairly flexible. Feel free to add in other spring veggies you have on hand, or sub in whatever’s in your pantry as needed (i.e. green onions instead of ramps, and so forth).

This salad will last up to 3 days in the fridge. Keep in mind that the berries and vegetables will soften over time.

Once cooked, wheat berries will still be quite chewy. You’re not looking for them to become completely soft when you cook them.

Want More Vegetarian Spring Recipes?

Vegetarian Spring Wheat Berry Salad
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 10 mins
Total Time
1 hr 25 mins
 

This Vegetarian Spring Wheatberry Salad is bursting with fresh spring produce, which is nestled between chewy high-fiber wheat berries and tossed in a chive blossom vinaigrette.

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Keyword: wheat berry
Servings: 2
Author: Shelly Westerhausen
Ingredients
  • 1 cup wheatberries , rinsed
  • 1 Tbsp + 3 Tbsp olive oil , divided
  • One bunch of ramps , leaves removed for other use and chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • half bunch of asparagus , trimmed and chopped into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 carrots , diced
  • 1 bell pepper , sliced
  • 1/2 cup strawberries , chopped
  • 2 celery stalks , chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chive blossom vinegar (or champagne vinegar works as well)
  • Salt / Pepper , to taste
  • 1 Tbsp basil , chopped
  • microgreens , scallions, or edible flowers, for garnish
Instructions
  1. For the wheat berries: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add in wheat berries, reduce heat, cover, and let gently simmer for 1 hour. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

  2. Warm 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add ramps and asparagus and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes or until softened.

  3. Add garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Remove from heat and add wheat berries. Also add in carrots, bell peppers, stawberries, and celery. Use a wooden spoon to mix until combined.

  4. For the chive blossom vinaigrette: Whisk together the remaining olive oil, chive blossom vinegar, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over salad and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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Comment

10 Comments

  • Katrina
    May 20, 2016

    TOTALLY! Homemade chive blossom vinegar is genius girl! And it sounds like a dream with this complex and beautiful salad. I never eat wheat berries at home, and obviously that needs to change! I mean, I am missing out on Spring in a bowl, right?! And they taste amazing!

  • Considering The Radish
    May 20, 2016

    Those are the best discoveries, aren’t they? When you just throw something together and it ends up being fantastic. I’ve never used wheat berries, but I can’t wait to try them.

  • Laura | Tutti Dolci
    May 20, 2016

    Such a beautiful salad, I love all the vibrant spring colors and textures!

    • Shellywest
      Laura | Tutti Dolci
      May 27, 2016

      Thanks, Laura! Interesting texture is my favorite part about salads!

  • Em
    May 20, 2016

    THOSE WHITTLE STWAHBS *heartyeyes*

    • Shellywest
      Em
      May 27, 2016

      I KNOW! They were *almost* too cute to eat!

  • Katherine Minor
    June 10, 2016

    Holy smokes, this salad is packed with goodness! Chive blossom vinegar?! That sounds magical.

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    April 30, 2017

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  • Janet
    April 9, 2018

    What is the serving size for this recipe?

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