Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries, Pecans and Goat Cheese
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post. All opinions and experiences are my own.
Wheat is used in many forms and I loved working with the little wheat berry for this recipe. Wheat Berry Salad with Cranberries, Pecans and Goat Cheese is not only super healthy but deliciously addictive too! You will want to dive into more and more of this salad.
Not only are there wheat berries, cranberries, pecans and goat cheese in this salad but I also added in blueberries and mandarin oranges for color, flavor and another punch of healthy ingredients.
What is a Wheat Berries?
The little wheat berry has only 300 calories per cup when they are cooked and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. These super tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, which is a cell-protecting antioxidant. Plus, a good source of magnesium. Both of these are excellent for healthy bones and muscles.
Wheat berries are also known as hard red wheat grain kernels or variations of that.
Little wheat berries are used a lot in European cooking. They have them as a side dish instead of rice or corn. The side dish is called ebly and even is served in an upscale McDonald’s in Switzerland.
You can enjoy this salad with or without the goat cheese. I liked adding it in at the end as it added a little creaminess and tang to the recipe.
Where can you find wheat berries? We found them in our local health food store in the bulk section. Life’s Simple Ingredient has so much potential for enjoying salads like this all summer long or all year round.
This gorgeous salad would work beautifully not only for any BBQ dinner but would carry right through to the fall with a pork roast, chicken or turkey. Serving this up on a Thanksgiving or Christmas table will obtain you rave reviews!!
I loved the crunchy texture of the wheat berries with the chewy cranberries and the burst from the blueberries and mandarins. The toasted pecans and tangy goat cheese add on even more inviting elements to this salad.
Omitting the goat cheese will give you a gorgeous vegan alternative too! This salad has many many pluses to it!
- 2 cups wheat berries
- 7 cups cold water
- 1 tsp. salt
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- ½ cup dried cranberries
- 100 gms (3.5 oz.) pecan halves
- 1 clam shell 170 gm (6 oz) of blueberries
- 1 can (284 ml. or 9.6 oz) mandarin, drained
- 3 Tbsp. white vinegar
- 3 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Goat cheese, crumbled for garnish
- Rinse wheat berries well and pick through for any stones or unedibles. Fill a large pot with 7 cups of cold water. Add the wheat berries and salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 60 min. Drain and let cool completely.
- Meanwhile toast the pecan halves in a 325F oven for about 5 min. or until fragrant, watching carefully.
- Mix cranberries with the orange juice and let sit for 15 min.
- Combine the cooled wheat berries with the pecans and blueberries.
- Drain the orange juice from the cranberries but reserve the juice for the dressing.
- Add the cranberries to the salad and toss well.
- In a small bowl whisk together the reserved orange juice with the vinegar, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.
- Pour over the salad and add the mandarins. Toss gently.
- Garnish with goat cheese if desired before serving.
- To make ahead: Wheat berries can be cooked and refrigerated for up to 2 days or freeze well for a month. Make the salad just before serving for best results.
Recipe adapted from Eating Well.