Hello everyone. I have some exciting news to share with you.
Today I bring to you a wonderful recipe from Chef Aida Mollenkamp. I was chosen to recreate a recipe from a list of many Chef’s. I chose Chef Aida Mollenkamp because I loved the colorful Chipotle and Toasted Walnut and Wheat Berry Salad and looked so appealing to me that I had to give it a try.
Here is a little bit about Chef Aida: Cookbook author and television host Aida Mollenkamp calls her cooking style West Coast eclectic. She combine fresh, seasonal, whole ingredients with the ethnic flavors of contemporary California. Her food is rooted in European techniques and Mediterranean ingredients, just like the Wheat Berry salad that has a surprising pop of flavor mixed in with the crunchy nuttiness of the wheat berries.
I read the ingredients and was intrigued with wheat berries. I never had them before and so, of course, I had to experiment.
The instructions for the recipe was a bit vague in terms of the water and wheat berry ratio. it also said that the water should be “heavily salted,” that was pretty vague so I had to guess on an amount.
The original recipe made 8 servings. Since I only wanted 1 serving I adjusted the quantities.
I added 1/2 cup of wheat berries and 2 tablespoons of coarse sea salt to 4 cups of water.
It said to cook over medium high heat for about 30 to 40 minutes. Unfortunately, 4 cups of water was absorbed about 15 minutes into my cooking time. I tasted the wheat berries and Oh My Goodness, 2 Tablespoons for coarse sea salt was WAY too much salt.
So I tried 6 cups of water and 1 1/2 Tablespoons coarse sea salt with 1/2 cup of the wheat berries. Much better.
This recipe is a bit time-consuming, but if you want to impress your guests with an out of this world healthy vegetarian salad, then this is the right dish for you.
It is definitely wholesome and filling enough to serve as a main course for lunch.
I also realized that 1/2 cup cooked wheat berries was too much for one. I used 1/4 cup and saved the rest for another recipe.
The original recipe is on the website for California Walnuts.
- ¼ cup soft wheat berries, rinsed (about 12 ounces)
- 1½ Tablespoons Coarse Sea Salt
- 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- ½ cup carrots,diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, finely chopped
- ¼ of chipotle en adobo plus ⅛ teaspoon of the sauce
- ¼ cup toasted walnut halves, coarsely chopped
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- ½ teaspoon honey
- ½ scallions, light green and green sliced on the bias
- ½ Tablespoon fresh Italian parsley or cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- Fill a large saucepan with 6 cups of water and 1½ Tablespoons of coarse sea salt and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Stir in wheat berries, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tender but still chewy, about 30 to 40 minutes.
- Drain and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet to cool. (Can be made through this step up to 4 days ahead. Store covered in the refrigerator until ready to use.)
- Spray a medium frying pan with non-stick spray over medium-high heat.
- Add the chopped shallot and a pinch of salt, and cook until golden brown, about 3 minutes.
- Add carrots and cook until just softened but still retains some bite, about 5 minutes more.
- Stir in thyme and chipotle and sauce and cook until fragrant then remove from heat.
- Place wheat berries in a large, nonreactive bowl and add carrot mixture,and nuts, Whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, and honey until honey is dissolved then stir into wheat berry mixture.
- Let salad marinate at least 15 minutes before serving or cover and refrigerate until ready to use, up to 24 hours.
- Just before serving, add the scallions and herbs.
The best part about this great recipe is that it is one of the many fantastic recipes that can be found in Aida’s new Cookbook “Keys to the Kitchen: The Essential Reference for Becoming a More Accomplished, Adventurous Cook”.
One lucky reader will have a chance to win this cookbook too. Stay tuned while I iron out the details of when to enter the giveaway.
Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by California Walnuts. I received walnuts and Aida Mollenkamp’s cookbook in exchange for this blog post. The opinions expressed here are my own and I was not required to write a positive post.
I hope you enjoyed the post and will try this excellent recipe.
Have a great day!