Sunday, September 23, 2012

Grilled Eggplant Caprese Wheatberry Salad

I love wheatberries so much.  This cold salad is really delicious and makes use of eggplant, basil, tomatoes and pantry staples.  You could use Spelt Berries or Farro (and frankly I don't really understand the difference between spelt and farro despite my research into it.. so many people say different things.  I guess it doesn't matter.  You can use Wheatberries,  Spelt, Farrow or even Barley for that matter.

I originally developed this recipe for Northeast Flavor Magazine, but have decided to share it with you since it's so delicious!  You can make this vegan or non-vegan.  The smoked tofu is amazing alternative to the smoked mozzarella!


Grilled Eggplant Caprese Wheat berry Salad
Serves 6 as a side dish
  • 1 c wheat berries
  • 4 c water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1 large eggplant, cut into 2 inch rounds
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 cloves pressed garlic, divided (around 4 teaspoons)
  • 4 tablespoons golden balsamic vinegar
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes cut in half
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, washed and dried (around 1 ½ cups loosely packed), hand torn
  • 1 teaspoon herbs de Provence
  • ¼ teaspoon dried marjoram
  • ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds
  • ½ teaspoon lemon zest
  • Juice of 1 lemon (around ¼ cup)
  • 4 ounces fresh smoked mozzarella* or smoked tofu cut into 1 inch pieces
  • Smoked sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Method:
  1. In a large saucepan, bring wheat berries, water and ½ teaspoon salt to a boil. Cover, turn heat down to simmer and cook for 45 minutes or until the wheat berries are tender. Drain in a colander, rinse and set aside. This can be done the night before
  2. Slice eggplant, place in a gallon size Ziploc bag with 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 pressed garlic cloves, 3 tablespoons vinegar and ½ teaspoon salt. Let this marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to overnight.
  3. Grill eggplant over medium heat for around 4 minutes a side, set aside
  4. In a bowl, add the cooked wheat berries, the rest of the vinegar and olive oil, tomatoes, basil, herbs, lemon zest and juice and smoked mozzarella.
  5. Chop eggplant and add to bowl, toss and add smoked sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

*Smoked Tofu is a great alternative to smoked mozzarella for those wishing to avoid dairy. You can find it in many Chinese markets and in some supermarkets.


 I know the ingredient list is along.. and many people are intimidated by the long lists of spices I use in my recipes, but please, if you are going to make something like this, every spice and flavor is important to the outcome :-)  


Here's a link to my delicious Curried Wheatberry Salad

Have you prepared wheatberries? If so, what is your favorite way to eat them?  I don't have a picture or  recipe on the blog, but I love to eat them for breakfast as a hot cereal with raisins , cinnamon and almond milk.  I also like to sprout them and add them to bread.  

I grind them into flour in my Vita Mix.  If you go back to 2006, I talked about them a lot. I bought 20 lbs directly from a farmer and kept them in my deep freeze for a couple of years! I think I spent $30 including shipping and got soooo much bang for my buck! 

Wow, it's amazing to go back in time through this blog.  My kids in the last link were so little.. yesterday, my oldest son turned 21 and my youngest son is 19 and just started his second year of college.  My baby Jorda (dog) is 7 now. It's so interesting to see how much life has changed over the years.   When I first started this blog, I was married and cooking for my pre-teen boys.. and now they are adults.   

I have so many posts coming up!  The Boyfriend and I have been doing A LOT of cooking and recipe experimentation!  Here's a sneak peak of a great meal He and our friend Naamah made ... mmmmm Naamah actually has written a guest post you guys will love! 


Oh.. and last week, we started our first batch of Sauerkraut!  We have named her Angela pronounced with a heavy German accent!
Angela

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