Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Wheatberry Salad with Asparagus and Ramps


Wheatberry Salad with Asparagus and Ramps
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as a side dish

My friend Erin is wheatberry-crazy. I decided to check them out for myself.
They are flavorful and sort of eternally al dente. The drawback to making wheatberry anything is the soaking time. Some recipes suggest soaking overnight, Erin insists 3 days is the perfect amount of time for soaking.

1/2 cup wheatberries, soaked in water for 3 days
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, cut in 1/2 inch pieces
12 ramps, whites cut in 1/2 inch pieces, greens separately in 1 inch pieces
1/2 pound asparagus, cut in 1 inch pieces
1/4 teaspoon anchovy paste
3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon freshly chopped mint leaves
1/2 teaspoon champagne or other white vinegar
3 ounces mild feta cheese
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste



1. Drain and rinse the wheat berries. Boil the wheat berries in plenty of salted water for 1 hour, or until al dente.

2. Meanwhile, heat one tablespoon of the oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat. Add onion and the white of ramps, sauté until lightly browned. Add the ramp greens and asparagus, sauté until asparagus is bright green and still a bit crunchy. Stir in the anchovy paste, pine nuts, mint leaves, remaining olive oil, and vinegar. Add the wheatberries and toss to combine. Crumble the feta over the top. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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