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Thread: Help! How do you prepare wheat berries?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
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    266

    Post Help! How do you prepare wheat berries?

    I bought wheat berries for the first time, to make this wheat berry and black bean salad recipe. But the recipe just says to prepare wheat berries according to package directions, and the package (Bob's Red Mill) doesn't have any directions!

    Can anyone tell me how to prepare wheat berries for a salad? The recipe calls for 1 cup wheatberries.

    Thanks much!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Location
    Southern California
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    Post

    Here is a recipe posted by our very own Emilycat on the following thread (hope you don't mind Emily!) that tells how to soak then cook Wheatberries (unless there are different types??):
    http://www.cookinglight.com/bbs/Forum1/HTML/006155.html

    From Moosewood Low-Fat Favorites

    Mushroom Wheatberry Pilaf

    Wheatberries provide a welcome "chewiness" in this already hearty dish. For special occasions, splurge and replace some of the fresh mushrooms with porcini mushrooms or some other flavorful dried mushrooms of your choice.

    1/2 c. raw dark wheatberries, soaked overnight, or at least 8 hours
    1 c. brown rice (or 2 1/2 c. cooked rice)
    1 large onion, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
    5 garlic cloves
    2 t. olive oil
    1 lb. mushrooms, sliced (about 5 cups)
    1 t. dried thyme
    1 t. minced fresh rosemary (1/2 t. dried, crumbled)
    3 t. soy sauce
    1/2 c. dry red wine

    Using a colander or a large sieve, drain the soaked wheatberries. Return them to the saucepan with fresh water to cover. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, cover and simmer for about an hour, until tender.

    In a separate pot, add 2 cups of cool water to the rice, cover tightly, and bring to a boil on high heat. When steam escapes from below the lid, turn off the heat and let stand for 5 minutes. Return to very low heat and simmer for about 35 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed.
    While the grains cook, saute the onions and garlic in the oil in a large, covered skillet on low heat for about 10 minutes, until golden. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the mushrooms, thyme, rosemary, and soy sauce and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the wine and continue to simmer until the wine evaporates. Set aside.
    When the wheatberries are soft, drain any excess liquid and then add to the sauteed mushrooms. Stir in the cooked rice, mix thoroughly, and serve immediately




    [This message has been edited by SoCal (edited 05-30-2001).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    Post

    Thanks so much, SoCal...I knew I could count on this board! I'm assuming I just soak them in enough water to cover...that's what it sounds like in the recipe.

    Thanks, again...gotta go soak my berries!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
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    Southern California
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    Post

    You are welcome Mbart. I hope it works for you. Maybe Emily will post a reply since she is our expert...Oh, Emily??

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Post

    Emily.. where are you?? Can you tell me if wheat berries go by anyother name- I went to our well supplied health food store and couldn't find them. Are they the same as soft wheat kernels. I wait breathlessly for you reply oh great grain Queen!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Location
    Atlanta, GA
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    Post

    Alright y'all, roll out the red carpet, please....

    SoCal, thanks for posting that for me ! Of course I don't mind -- spread the grain wealth around
    There are indeed two types of wheatberries, soft and hard -- here's what Mollie Katzen has to say about them:
    Wheat Berries:
    Whole grain wheat, with only the outermost hull removed. Very chewy, these take a long time to cook. Cooked wheat berries are a nice addition to breads and mix well in pilafs with other cooked grains. Soft(white) wheat berries are very round, glutinous, sweet, nutty and mild. Hard (red) wheat berries cook up to be more distinct and chewy, with an earthy flavor.

    In her grain-cooking chart, she doesn't mention anything about soaking them, only to use 2 parts water to 1 part wheat berries (both kinds) and to cook the hard ones for 2 hours and the soft for 1 1/2.
    When I make them, though, I usually just do the soaking and 1-hour cooking thing. Either way should work, though. Does this help any?


    [This message has been edited by emilycat (edited 05-31-2001).]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI
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    Just an update on my wheat berry experience...I soaked them overnight, then put in fresh water-didn't do the 2 to 1 proportion Emily-just put in water, but they still cooked up fine. They are very interesting; I love how they are so chewy. I was making the wheatberry and black bean salad posted on another thread, and altho. I had no troubles with the wheatberries, I almost burned the house down preparing the black beans! I put them on the stove to do a quick soak -- that is, cover them with water and turn heat to high until it boils, then remove from heat and let sit one hour. Well, oops! I put them on high, covered them, then left the house for two hours with the burner on! I realized my mistake about half-way to the grocery store, then high-tailed it back home to a very stinky house and a burnt pan. Fortunately, nothing worse than that!

    The salad turned out pretty good, but I didn't have all of the right ingredients, so it's a little off, but will make it again! What a day!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    Posts
    8,527
    Thanks emilycat, we had this last night with the Greek Chicken with Caper and Raisins in Feta Sauce and Roasted Beet Salad with Walnut Basil Dressing. It was great!

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