Summer Wheatberry Salad

For the salad:
1 cup soft wheatberries
6 cup water (or very light vegetable or chicken stock) w/1/2 tsp. salt
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts
1/2 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup diced roasted red bell pepper
2 T capers, drained & chopped
3 T sliced scallions (white & green)
1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
2 T chopped fresh basil or cilantro

Vinaigrette (whisk together):
1/2 to 1 tsp. finely minced garlic
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T white-wine vinegar
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the garnish (optional):
Young greens such as arugula, red mustard, cress, mizuna, or a mix.

In a heavy saucepan with a lid, combine the wheatberries, water or stock, salt, and bay leaf.

Bring to a boil and then simmer partially covered until the wheatberries are pleasantly chewy, which may take anywhere from 50 to 120 min.

Remove the pan from the heat, discard the bay leaf, and let the berries cool in the liquid.

When cool, drain off all the liquid and put the berries into a large mixing bowl.

Add the artichoke hearts, tomatoes, roasted pepper, capers, scallions, almonds, and basil or cilantro.

Add the vinaigrette & toss all until well combined.

Let sit for at least 2 hours at room temperature before serving.

Serve as is or arrange the greens on chilled plates and top with the wheatberry salad.

Serves six.

• Wheatberries have a delicious nutty flavor. Look for wheatberries that are labeled “soft.” They'll cook more quickly than the hard variety.
• Advance Preparation: Best made the morning on the day of serving & not refrigerated. It should sit at least 2 hours before serving. Very good made a day ahead, however, it must then be refrigerated & the texture of the tomatoes suffers a bit...not a big deal, though.

Source of recipe: John Ash in Fine Cooking #28