Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A Barefoot Salad

I am lucky to have in my collection three books from Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa. They were given to me by people I love. She is one of my heroes. A great gusto for life and food, a sizable bank account and a loving husband. She dedicates her books to her husband who makes her dreams come true. How good is that? She slathers butter, cheese and eggs on everything. And if you have seen her lately, her waistline shows it. But she seems not to care. She loves food! While I fret about being one pound closer to 150 she is scarfing down the scalloped potatoes with three cheeses and a quart of heavy cream and not worrying one wit. Good for her.

She does however present some pretty balanced menus and is aware of her guests dietary requirements. A vegetarian at the table? No problem! Serve up a Sagaponack corn pudding along with some sauteed carrots and string beans to go along with that standing rib roast. The lady has class! And some of her recipes are vegan. She probably never even considered it. It's probably just a good recipe that happens not have any animal products in it.

This is one of em. A wheat berry salad made with hard winter wheat. It is nutty and satisfying and filling. There's no meat and no meat substitutes. It wasn't meant to have them. No sacrifice at all. Some toasted French bread on the side and a glass of vino, a simple and tasty meal.Good enough to bring to your next summer cookout.

The Barefoot Contessa's Wheat berry Salad

1 cup hard winter wheat berries
Kosher salt
1 cup finely diced red onion(1 onion)
6 tablespoons good olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 scallions minced, white and green parts
1/2 red bell pepper, small diced
1 carrot, small diced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place the wheat berries and 3 cups of boiling salted water in a saucepan and cook, uncovered, over low heat for approximately 45 minutes, or until they are soft. Drain
Saute the red onion in 2 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Turn off the heat and add the remaining 4 tablespoons of Olive oil and the balsamic vinegar.

In a large bowl, combine the warm wheat berries, sauteed onions, scallions, red bell pepper, carrot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and the black pepper. Allow the salad to sit for at least 30 minutes for the wheat berries to absorb the sauce. Season to taste and serve at room temperature.

How easy is that?

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