Roasted Root Vegetable and Wheat Berry Salad

I have seen this salad on David Lebovitz’s site before, but somehow it had escaped me for a while…. and what perfect serendipity to stumble on it again while still having had just enough wheat berries in my cabinet…. Considering that the Arctic winds and cold are back here as well, for one last winter swipe before the calendar spring comes, it was a good ending to all the root veggies that caramelize into inexplicable goodness in the oven. As I was mixing it all in, the large bowl it yielded, all I could think of was: vegetarian potluck!!! Perfect!!! Think no further! No, potluck, period! An excellent salad, so forget about the boring pasta salads, heavy mayo potato salads (ugh, N. America… don’t get me started on this potato salad!) AND I bet you this salad is keeping with the Mediterranean diet. Do you need more excuses until you go pick up a few roots and make this?

Again, as other salads, it is highly adaptable. So maybe you don’t have many veggies or you’re picky, so you only like a few, well, make it with what you have or with what you like! None’s the wiser! And since it is you bringing this salad for potluck, taste as you season it and make it your own. Maybe lemon juice, maybe vinegar, maybe olive oil, maybe a seasoned olive oil, nuts or no nuts, dried fruit or not, more or less, up to you! Doesn’t get better than that 🙂

(all the veggies were weighed after they were peeled and cleaned; when you add it up, I had 1010 gr vegetables, David had used 1kg, so I was close, which is not to say you can’t half this or make it with less or more of either)

Ingredients:

430 gr squash

50 gr Jerusalem artichokes

60 gr yellow turnips

90 gr parsnips

130 gr carrots

250 gr leeks

2-3 tbsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1-2 tsp dried thyme

40 gr chopped dried fruit (I had a mix of craisins and apricots)

300 gr wheatberries

1 bay leaf

2 tsp lemon juice

1-2 tsp mix of chopped fresh/frozen parsley & basil

a handful or two of torn arugula leaves

feta cheese, optional

Preparation:

1. Preheat the oven to 220C/425F.

chopped up

2. Clean and cube the vegetables, chop the leek on thick slices. Toss them with the olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme and mix well.

ready to bake

3. Bake them for 40 minutes, and stir them around the half mark. The turnips were taking a bit longer, so I added 5 minutes to the baking time, don’t, the leek would burn too much, maybe 2-3 more minutes, tops. Because you have a mix of veggies, poke a few specimens of each to see how they’re all doing. May I digress and say here how much I hate that carrots take so long? 

mixing it all in

4. In the meantime, cook the wheatberries in a lot of salted water and add the bay leaf. My stove top heats water as if on moonshine, so it took my wheatberries a bit longer than the veggies to be done, but it shouldn’t be that long. Taste them, they should have a bit of a chewiness to them.

5. When the wheatberries are done, strain them, remove the bay leaf and place them in a large bowl, where you will add the roasted veggies and will have enough space to mix everything in.

6. Pour in the same bowl the roasted veggies, stir well, add the dried fruit and start seasoning. Taste and season, taste and season. I had plenty of olive oil in the vegetables, that I didn’t feel I needed to add any here. Maybe you would want to, depends on your taste.

yumm

7. Stir in the arugula and enjoy with some feta cheese 🙂 Deeee-lish!

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