Happy New Year, friends! In the midst of the holidays, two of our friends had baby girls! It’s such a sweet thing to see a little one come into the world. I wait in excited anticipation of the special text with a picture of the tiny bundle swaddled in a blanket.
One of our friends is a new Mom and I wanted to bring her something nourishing as she gets to know this new little person. I settled on a healthy wheatberry salad with winter vegetables in beet-infused olive oil.
My goal was to make something healthy and hearty and I think it fits the bill perfectly. The diced beets look like beautiful ruby jewels that just make you want to dig in. It’s chewy, crunchy, sweet and savory. A pretty way to celebrate the arrival of a sweet baby girl.
Recipe: Winter Wheatberry Salad
Adapted from the Barefoot Contessa
1 C. hard winter wheatberries
kosher or sea salt
1 small beet, washed and scrubbed
6 T. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 onion, finely diced (about 1 C.)
2 t. balsamic vinegar
3 scallions, white and light green parts thinly sliced
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 C. feta (optiona)l
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
2. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add a generous amount of salt and add the winterberries. Turn the heat to low and simmer for about 50 minutes, uncovered, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Drain.
3. On a large square of aluminum foil, add the beat and 4 tablespoons (1/4 C.) of olive oil. Fold the foil into a packet, crimping the sides to prevent any leaking. Place the packet in the preheated oven and roast for 30-40 minutes. Open packet carefully and let the beet cool until you can handle it safely. The skin should slip off easily. Cut into a small dice. Reserve beet-infused olive oil to add to the salad.
4. Add 2 T. of oil to a medium skillet and sauté onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Put onions in a large bowl.
5. To the large bowl, add warm wheatberries, beet, carrots, scallion, beet-infused olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a pinch of salt and toss to combine. Sprinkle with feta and serve at room temperature. You may need to add more salt if you are not using feta. If making ahead, store in the refrigerator and bring up to room temperature; add feta just before serving.