Wheat Berry Sumac Salad
October 2, 2011 § 3 Comments
Sumac is not poisonous, well some varieties are, but this lemony seasoning certainty isn’t. In fact the sumac I used was given to me by my boyfriend’s mother. Her husband just returned from visiting family in Israel & brought back with him lots of the spices his family uses in their everyday cooking. I am lucky enough to be a recipient of some of those authentic spices, so I figured I’d share with you.
Sumac can be described as sour. It is native to the Middle East & is used widely there & in the Mediterranean to season meat, fish & vegetables. I’ve been putting it in everything; in hummus, on top of salads & sprinkled on my pesto salmon (a recipe Shann taught me). Sumac works so well in this fall salad, as it does add an unexpected tang to the otherwise standard grain-vegetable dish.
This wheat berry salad is relective of the colors of Autumn & the vegetables it gives us. The pepitas, translated little seed of squash, with their robust, almost chewy texture, simple flavor & sophisticated nutritional profile are a must. Actually, according to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry the phytosterols that occur in many nuts & seeds can help to naturally lower LDL (undesirable cholesterol). Pepitas, have about 265mg/100g (100 grams is about 3oz) – pretty impressive for the inside of a pumpkin seed.
Now, if you are wondering where the sprouting part comes in, listen up. The wheat berries I used were sprouted when I bought them, but you could certainly use bulgur wheat, barley, or un-sprouted wheat berries as the grain for this salad. I used the sprouted wheat berries by Shiloh Farms & because sprouting does enhance the nutritional benefits of many foods, I do recommenced you try to find them (try your local health food store).
Wheat Berry Sumac Salad
2 cups of sprouted wheat berries, 1 1/2 cups parsley, any variety, chopped, 3/4 cup pepitas, 3 large carrots, roasted, 1 delicata squash, roasted, 2 small eggplants, 3 tomatoes, 1 large white onion, chopped, organic refined coconut oil, cold pressed, 5 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp sumac, 5 sun-dried tomatoes, crushed into a grainy powder, 1 tsp garlic powder, sea salt, black pepper & lemon juice
Bring 5 cups of water to a boil, then remove from heat. In a seperate bowl, cover the wheat berries with 4 cups of the boiling water & let them sit for an hour, or until they are soft enough to eat. If there is extra water that has not been absorbed by the wheat berries, strain the berries in a sieve. Refrigerate until ready to use.
*If you are crunched for time, this can be done it the microwave. Place 2 cups of wheat berries & 4 cups of water in a microwave safe bowl. Cover the bowl with a paper towel & a layer of plastic wrap. Microwave for 10 minutes. There should not be any extra water when finished.
Preheat oven, on roast, to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut delicata squash in half & take out the seeds. On a baking stone drizzle whole carrots & delicata with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Roast for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté onion, eggplant & tomatoes in coconut oil for about 15 minutes over medium high heat until caramelized. Add 1 Tbsp sumac, salt, pepper, garlic powder & sun-dried tomatoes & sauté over low heat for 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from heat & mix them into the prepared wheat berries.
Chop parsley & add it to the wheat berry mixture. Cut the roasted carrots into 1/4 inch thick rounds & the delicata squash into cubes, then add them as well. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, pepitas, sumac & some salt to taste. Spritz with lemon juice & refrigerate until ready to serve. Before serving sprinkle with some sumac.