Wheat Berry Tarragon Salad

I would like to introduce you to two ingredients that may not yet be part of your everyday repertoire, but once you taste this salad, I hope you’ll be inspired to stock fresh this somewhat forgotten grain in your pantry and add that fresh tarragon from your garden all summer long.

I’ve written about ancient grains in this column before, but it was in the very early days of Berks Country magazine, so I think it’s worth mentioning again in case you missed it. The wheat berry is actually not a berry at all, it is a full kernel of wheat (minus the hull) composed of the bran, germ and endosperm. Most of the time you’ll find wheat berries in whole form in multi-grain breads, although a relative newcomer to American pantries, I’ve noticed they are beginning to pop up more in trendy restaurants across the country. When milled, whole-wheat flour is produced from wheat berries. They can be incorporated into a grain salad to give it flavor and texture. Be sure to soak the wheat berries overnight. For added depth of flavor, add sliced green onions to your soak water.

In this recipe the wheat berries are paired with white rice for a familiar taste and texture. This salad is perfect for children because it incorporates flavors that they already know and love. If you don’t have time to make it but are craving the light and fruity feel, stop by Covini’s Cloud 9 in Wyomissing. This hidden gem is one of my favorite local bistros, and home to a variety of home-made soups and salads, baked goods, and many other locally produced goodies including artwork! They serve a version of this salad that is just as delicious, and you can eat in or get a large container to go!

This completes the summer salad series, if you missed any of the salad articles over the last few weeks, visit ReadingEagle.com to find the recipes. Up in two weeks: Fresh Lemonade

Tip: Use fresh tarragon sparingly, it can easily dominate the other flavors.

1 cup white rice (prepare according to package directions)
1/2 cup wheat berries (soak overnight, then prepare according to package directions)
1 apple, cored, peeled, and chopped into bite size pieces
1-2 mandarine oranges, slice in bite size pieces
1 bunch of green onions (use half for the soak water and the other half chopped fresh over the salad)
1 cup freshly chopped parsley
1-2 Tbsp. freshly chopped tarragon

3 Tbsp. sunflower, safflower, or olive oil
3 Tbsp. tarragon vinegar
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/8 tsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. freshly chopped tarragon or 1/4 tsp. dried
2-4 fresh raspberries or blackberries
2 tsp. chambord liqueur
salt & pepper to taste

Use an immersion blender for best results.

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