Years ago, I had a curried wheat berry salad for lunch which I picked up at a grab and go kiosk in an airport. I don’t remember the airport or the kiosk, which is odd for me….I associate every place I’ve been with a food I’ve eaten there. I think it may have been Chicago but I, honestly, can’t remember. It doesn’t really matter though….the memory of that salad has stayed with me and I vowed to recreate it….minus the curry. There’s something about eating curry and then sitting on a plane for a few hours that can make you decide that’s not really for you. At least when combined with fruit and nuts. I’m sure the person in the seat next to me (who offered me a piece of gum…even though I was already chewing on a piece) agreed with me on the “no curry prior to boarding an overbooked flight” rule.
Curry aside, the wheat berries had a chewy texture similar to steel cut oats but better. They paired well with the fruit and nuts mixed into the salad. I added scallions, celery and goji berries to my recipe just to give it more depth of flavor. (You can find out more about goji berries here.)
I, also, stayed more fruity with the dressing in this version. It was a great plan and is definitely flight friendly. In fact, I would suggest packing some in a small storage container and taking it with you….it’s excellent for travel, whether on a plane, train or automobile. This salad will not disappoint. Sure beats those overpriced meal boxes they sell in coach. And I have to admit….first class isn’t much better.
Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette
Serves 8 as a first course, 4 as a main course
For the dressing:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 cup orange juice (preferably fresh squeezed)
1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
juice of one lemon
For the salad:
1 cup uncooked wheat berries (note: I purchased par-cooked wheat berries so the cooking time was only 15-20 minutes.)
1/2 cup Goji berries
1 large apple, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
3 scallions, chopped
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup chopped pecans
In a large pot, cook the wheat berries according to the package directions. Set aside and let cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, orange juice, salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, olive oil and lemon juice. Set aside.
In a large bowl, toss the cooked wheat berries, Goji berries, apple, celery, scallions, parsley and pecans together until combined. Pour half the dressing over the salad and stir thoroughly. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Prior to serving, pour the remaining dressing over the salad and toss to combine.
Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.