Thursday, April 11, 2013

Wheat Berry Salad with Avocado, Strawberries, and Caramelized Shallots

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Mel made this yeast-soy dressing when I was visiting last weekend, and I'm obsessed with it. Oh mama, umami! I immediately made a batch when I got back to Seattle, and have been dreaming up this salad all week. 
 
Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug Nutty, chewy wheat berries, creamy avocado, tangy feta, and caramelized shallots were always part of the plan. I didn't decide to add the strawberries until the very last minute, and I honestly think this salad would be nothing without them. Please trust me on this one guys, you gotta do it!   

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The wheat berries take about an hour to cook, but overall the effort here is pretty minimal. I mean, aside from finding the yeast flakes for the dressing, which took me about an hour at the grocery store. My store had it in a super random place. PS. You can also sprinkle yeast flakes on popcorn, it's amazing. 

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Avocado, Strawberry, and Wheat Berry Salad 
Serves 1-2 as an entree, 2-4 as a side

Dressing
Halved from this recipe
1/4 cup nutritional yeast flakes
3 tablespoons teaspoons soy sauce
3 tablespoons teaspoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons teaspoon water
1 tablespoon tahini
1 garlic clove, crushed
3/4 cup oil (I used half olive/half vegetable)

Combine everything except the oil in a blender, and blend until smooth. With the blender running, slowly stream in the oil, and blend until combined and creamy smooth. This will make more dressing than you need, but it's good on pretty much everything…including a spoon. 

Salad
1/2 cup dry hard wheat berries
1 large shallot, sliced
1 tablespoon coconut oil 
1 avocado, diced
1 cup chopped strawberries
1/4 cup feta

Cook wheat berries: Combine rinsed wheat berries, 1 3/4 cups water, and a pinch of salt in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook about an hour, until tender but still toothsome and chewy. Drain if all the water isn't absorbed, and rinse under cold water to cool. 

Meanwhile, caramelize the shallots. Heat coconut oil in a small skillet over medium, and add the shallots. Turn the heat to medium low, and cook for several minutes. Watch closely, as they can quickly go from caramelized to burnt. Remove when golden and not quite crunchy, and drain on a paper towel. Let cool.

Toss everything together, and drizzle with dressing. Add more dressing, per your taste. 
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