Barley & Wheat Berry Salad with Chickpeas, Feta and Dates

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2014 Jan/Feb

This grainy salad could be made with barley and quinoa instead – you’ll find chewy wheat berries at gourmet or health food stores.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 c. wheat berries
  • 1/2 c. pearl or pot barley
  • 1/2 c. chopped dates
  • 1 19-oz. (540 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • a big handful of Italian parsley, chopped or torn
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive or canola oil
  • 1/4 c. red wine vinegar or lemon juice (or to taste)
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

In a medium saucepan, cover the wheat berries with a few inches of water and bring to a boil. Remove the pan from the heat and let it stand for an hour. (Alternatively, soak the wheat berries in water overnight.)

Pour off most of the water from the wheat berries, add the barley to the pot and cover it with water by a few inches; bring it to a boil and cook for 40 minutes, until both the barley and the wheat berries are tender. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking; drain well and transfer to a bowl. Stir in the dates and let the mixture cool completely.

Add the chickpeas, feta, celery, parsley, onion and walnuts; drizzle the salad with oil and vinegar and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. Toss it to combine the flavours. Serve immediately or refrigerate until needed. Serves 6 to 8.