I have to admit that, like most people, I’m new to wheat berries, but I’d been looking for new side dishes that used more whole grains. You can’t get much more whole than wheat berries. They are whole wheat, the whole grain that companies grind into everyday, recognizable flour.
They have a great texture. I’ve used them in soups, like barley. They work well in salads. And because you can cook them ahead of time on the weekend, refrigerate and use them multiple times throughout the week, they’re an easy time-saver, too. They’re high in iron, fiber and protein, are low in fat and are vegan-friendly.
There is a great debate about whether or not to salt the cooking water. Some say that the salt is necessary for flavor; others say that it makes the berries too tough. I personally skip the salt and season the finished dish.
Before cooking, always sort through the dried wheat berries to check for stones or other inedible bits that might have been captured in the harvesting process. Rinse thoroughly, drain, and then proceed with the recipe below.
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 4 cups water
Put rinsed wheat berries and water into a heavy pot. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce to a simmer for at least an hour. I tend to prefer them at about the 1:10 mark, but you may like yours to be a bit firmer or softer.