The autumn season is well under way here in California! Today we’ll celebrate the season with this fall colored salad of wheat berries, butternut squash, kale and pomegranate seeds all dressed with an apple cider vinaigrette. It’s a deliciously, simple salad to nourish your body and brighten your day!
Having a bag of wheat berries in my pantry just waiting to be used and a butternut squash on hand, I decided to put the two together creating hearty salad. After a quick google search I ran across a very tempting recipe from Food & Wine that I used as a guide. This recipe will make enough to feed a small crowd, or you’ll have plenty of leftovers to nibble on or take for to-go lunches. Feel free to cut the recipe in half if you like, but I must say it was nice to have leftovers.
This is the first recipe using these chewy, nutty berries here on TSV, and it won’t be the last. Wheat berries are a low gluten grain with an ample amount of protein and fiber per serving, about 6 grams each. They work well in salads and soups for added bulk and heartiness. If you haven’t tried them yet, this is a perfect salad to get you started!
There are a few steps to the recipe but they flow nicely making this come together easily. First you’ll be cooking the wheat berries and adding the kale at the end to help steam it. While that’s coming along, roast your butternut squash.
Next, dice the onions and saute until just softened. Prepare the vinaigrette, set aside.
Once you’ve cooked the wheat berries, wilted the kale, roasted the butternut squash, sauteed the onions and made the dressing, it’s time to mix it all together.
And voila, the end result is a colorful autumn salad to share with friends and family, or eat all to yourself.
P.S. Don’t skimp on those pomegranate seeds, they are soooo good and add a nice touch of color!
AUTUMN WHEAT BERRY + BUTTERNUT SQUASH SALAD
- 1 butternut squash, diced (about 4 cups)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 cups wheat berries (I used Bob Red Mills)
- 5 cups water
- 1 bunch tuscan kale, stems removed and chopped
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 3/4 cup pomegranate seeds
- mineral salt & fresh cracked pepper, to taste
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley, optional
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon or whole grain mustard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- fresh cracked pepper
- pinch of salt
Butternut squash: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, a silpat or lightly greased with oil. Place butternut squash on baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil, and mix well to coat. Add a sprinkle of salt and pepper over top. Place in oven on the middle rack and cook for 25 – 30 minutes, stirring after 15 minutes. Remove from oven, set aside.
Wheat berries + kale: In a medium size pot, add water, wheat berries and a pinch of salt, bring to boil, cover, reduce heat to low so water is at a gentle boil, and cook for 45 minutes, or until wheat berries are tender. Add kale to the wheat berries and give a good stir, let set for 5 minutes, or until kale softens and wilts. Drain wheat berries and kale.
Onion: In a small skillet or pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat, add onion and cook 5 minutes, until softened.
Dressing: In a small bowl, combine the apple cider, dijon mustard, olive oil, pepper and salt, mix well to combine.
Mix it all together: In a large serving/mixing bowl, combine the kale, wheat berries, butternut squash, onion, pomegranates, optional parsley and dressing, toss well to combine. Add extra salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warmed, at room temperature or chilled. Tastes great with a slice of freshly cut crusty bread. Enjoy!
If using different wheat berries, cook according to package, and add an extra cup of water.
Use farro or barley in place of the wheat berries if you prefer. Cooking times of farro and barley my vary so adjust and cook according to package directions. You can still add the kale at the end, just be sure to put the lid on for a few minutes to help stem the kale.
Feel free to use baby kale instead. No need to cook the baby kale. Simply add it to the mixing bowl while everything and combine.