Wheat berry and lentil salad
with carrots, parsley and harissa
Makes 2 to 3 servings
2/3 cup whole wheat berries (see note)
3/4 teaspoon salt
8 cups water
1/2 cup French green, Spanish brown or black beluga lentils
2 carrots, diced
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon homemade or store-bought harissa
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup coarsely chopped parsley leaves and tender stems, from about 10 sprigs flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup pitted green olives, sliced or chopped
3 tablespoons marcona or roasted almonds, coarsely chopped
Notes: Because you want the wheat berries at room temperature for this salad, it’s a good idea to cook them in advance. Alternatively, you can spread the grain out on a plate or baking sheet to cool after it has cooked and briefly rested, or use leftover wheat berries. To use leftover grains, substitute 2 1/3 cups in place of the 2/3 cup dry listed here. Also, see the variations, below.
Make ahead: The wheat berries can be cooked two days in advance and dressed one day in advance; same goes for the lentils. The carrots, parsley, almonds and olives can be prepared one day in advance and held on top of the salad; mix in just before serving.
1. Rinse and drain the wheat berries.
2. Combine the drained wheat berries, 1/4 teaspoon salt and five cups of the water in a medium, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium, partially cover and cook for 45 minutes to one hour, until the wheat berries are tender but still a little chewy. Turn off the heat; let them rest for 15 minutes, then drain well and cool.
3. Meanwhile, combine the lentils with the remaining three cups of water in a small, heavy pot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until barely tender. Turn of the heat; let the lentils cool in their cooking liquid.
4. Combine the cooled wheat berries and the lentils (making sure they are well drained) in a medium bowl with the carrots.
5. Dissolve the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in the lemon juice in a liquid measuring cup; whisk in the harissa and then the oil to form an emulsified dressing. Pour over the wheat berries, lentils and carrots, tossing to coat evenly.
6. Stir in the parsley, olives and almonds, reserving some for garnish, if desired, and serve.
Variations: For the wheat berries, you could substitute emmer or einkorn (two ancient wheat varieties in the farro category) or rye berries. In place of or in addition to the carrots, you could use diced fresh or roasted sweet peppers, halved cherry tomatoes or finely slivered greens such as collards or arugula, or even leftover roasted vegetables. You could also swap the parsley for cilantro, or replace the lentils with chickpeas (if using canned, rinse and drain well before combining).
Nutrition per serving (based on 3): 470 calories, 13 g protein, 53 g carbohydrates, 24 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 830 mg sodium, 8 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar