Monday, March 28, 2011

Wheatberry Salad with Basil Vinaigrette

I hate to post another salad recipe with it still being in the negatives outside and it not feeling like spring or summer at all, but I am really excited to share this one. It is the dressing which is the exciting part, really. I went to a Birthday party on the weekend and was bringing along a side dish. I decided to make a wheatberry salad and wanted to have a dressing that resembled pesto, or had a lot of basil in it. After a failed attempt of making my own pesto based dressing, I found a recipe on Farm Fresh Living, a website I hadn't come across until recently. With the success of this salad dressing recipe, I may just have to try out more of their recipes.

Wheatberry Salad with Basil Vinaigrette
serves 8-10 as a side

4 cups cooked wheatberries
1 cup thawed edamame
1 can no salt added corn
2 cups fresh chopped spinach
feta cheese, crumbled (I used about half of purchased container - use as much or as little as you'd like)

Dressing (makes double what you need): slightly adapted from Farm Fresh Living
1/2 large shallot finely chopped
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon prepared mustard
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
juice from 1 fresh lemon
1/2 large tomato, diced
6 tsp dried basil
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine all the salad ingredients into a large bowl.
2. Combine all dressing ingredients except olive oil into a food processor (or magic bullet like I did) and blend.
3. Add olive oil as a stream while processing (or add in 2 batches in the magic bullet).
4. Mix half of the dressing just before serving, add crumbled feta, and mix in.

I loved the salad and I THINK it may have won over even the toughest critics at the party. The guests at the party ranged from 'foodie' to 'open-minded' to 'an animal must die at every meal' to 'what is a vegetable?'. So while it was pretty brave for me bringing a wheatberry salad to this party, I am glad I did.

I REALLY liked this dressing. I sort of doubled the recipe that I had found, so I had a lot of extra dressing in the end. I am sure glad I did though because I used it in an amazing salad that I made for lunch today. The salad was spinach based, with some toppings: 1/2 cup wheatberries, 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 1 green onion chopped, crumbled feta. The dressing was wonderful on this salad. I am usually a 'make a bit of dressing as you need it directly onto the salad' kinda girl, but this recipe has converted me. I can now see myself making up some of this dressing to use throughout the week in the near future.

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