Published May 2, 2011

Cooking wheat

By Tomoko Ogawa

A few months ago, I stopped by Fresh Connections, a cooperative grocery store in Algona which sells wheat berries from a farm in Wesley,  just about 15 miles from the store.

I often grind wheat berries for baking bread. But bread is not the only way to enjoy wheat. Wheat berries make a great dish simply by cooking them. While bread baking is fun, it can be complicated and time consuming. So if you are not into baking breads but still like to enjoy local grains, try cooking whole wheat berries!  They can make great salad, soup, pilaf, etc.

Basic recipe for cooking wheat berries (4-6 servings) :

Combine 1 1/2 cup wheat berries, a pinch of salt and enough water to cover them by 1-2  inches  in a pot. Bring to a boil and then lower heat so it keeps bubbling gently. Cook uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Wheat berries are ready when they are tender but  still have a slight bite to them.  Drain remaining water if any.

Toss cooked wheat berries with your favorite vegetables, nuts, olive oil, lemon juice or vinegar, salt and pepper etc. for a simple salad.