Your viewing "Vegetarian" (2 posts).

I'm toying around with something different. Rather than post recipes and give off the impression that I'm some food expert, I'm going to start posting more of my everyday meals. Last night, I was craving vegetables, after a weekend of gluttonous eating in San Francisco.

Once in a while, I enjoy a chopped salad. It's easy to eat, easy to make, and each piece gets lightly dressed.

I chopped up some red onion, a hothouse cucumber, some roma tomatoes (I know, out of season). I added a can of garbanzo beans and a large handful of sliced kalamata olives (not pictured).

I also added some marinated feta. This cheese hails from Yarra Valley Dairy in Australia. The dairy has, according to the website, 200 cattle. I found this cheese at Ralphs, of all places.

The cheese is marinated in olive oil. It tastes nothing like feta, really, and it's made with cow milk instead of sheep or goat milk. Instead of the dense, crumbling texture of feta, this is soft like goat cheese. Its flavor is mild and creamy, not strong or salty. I enjoyed it for what it was.

I used about two small heads of romaine, roughly chopped.

For a dressing, I combined a few tablespoons of olive oil, some red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, and about a tablespoon of Dijon mustard. I recently purchased a better quality, whole grain Dijon mustard. The flavor is good.

And though I was eating salad, I reached for a red wine. I've had this garnacha before. I like it because it is affordable (about $12) and very drinkable, with jammy notes. I have also been in a Spain mood lately. It's several steps above cheap table wine but not so complex that you have to sip and think.

 

 

This dish doesn't look like much, but it has both flavor and bite.  This is the kind of dish I would order for take-out lunch but not consider making at home.  Now that I know how simple it is to prepare, I might stop visiting the prepared food bar.  

Wheatberry Salad with Miso Sesame Vinaigrette
Serves 4 or more
Other than the proportion of water to wheatberry, the measurements in this recipe are flexible.  In addition, don't feel wedded to the vegetables below.  I used what I had in my fridge, but consider wheatberries a blank canvas.
  You could also try different dressings, like parsley-lemon-olive oil, or olive oil-balsamic vinegar.  You could add fruit, nuts, and so on.

INGREDIENTS

For the salad:
1 cup of wheatberries, rinsed and drained
3 cups of water, plus more to dilute the dressing
Red onion, diced
Celery, diced
Persian cucumber, diced

For the dressing:
Miso paste
Soy sauce
Sesame oil
Palm sugar (white or brown sugar work, too)
Rice vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

HOW-TO:

  1. Cook Wheatberries | To cook the wheatberries, add the 3 cups of water and rinsed wheatberries to a medium sized pot, bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for about an hour.  When done, the wheatberries will have a good deal of bite.  Drain before assembling the salad.
  2. Prepare the Vinaigrette | Shortly before your wheatberries are done cooking, start preparing your vinaigrette.  Combine the dressing ingredients to taste in a medium bowl and mix well with a spoon or fork.  I used about a tablespoon of miso paste, a drizzle of sesame oil, a few tablespoons of soy sauce, a tablespoon or so of palm sugar, and a few dashes of rice vinegar.  
  3. Assemble the Salad | In a medium-large bowl, combine the drained wheatberries, onion, celery, and cucumber.  Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and mix to thoroughly distribute the dressing.  Taste and add more seasoning if desired.  Grate some black pepper over the top and serve.

 

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