Monday, May 16, 2005

Wheat Berry Salad with Goat Cheese and Golden Raisins

Wheat Berry Salad with Goat Cheese and Golden Raisins (Adapted from Vegetarian Times)

For the salad

4 cups water
1 cup dry wheat berries
2 15 ounce cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups chopped fennel
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
10 pitted large green olives, coarsely chopped
salt and fresh ground black pepper

For the dressing

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons honey
salt and fresh ground black pepper

For assembly

6 cups baby spinach
3 ounces (about 3/4 cup) crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped

To prepare the salad

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil - stir in wheat berries, reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and let cool for 15 minutes. Drain well.

In a large bowl, toss together cooked wheat berries, chickpeas, fennel, raisins, green onions and olives - season with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

To prepare the dressing

In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and honey - season lightly with salt and fresh ground black pepper.

To assemble the salad

Toss spinach with about 2 to 3 tablespoons of the dressing. Pour remaining dressing over the wheat berry mixture and toss well to coat.

Divide dressed spinach among the serving plates - evenly top with the wheat berry mixture and sprinkle each serving with the goat cheese and pistachios.

Makes about 6 to 8 servings.

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