Sunday, September 27, 2009

Wheat Berries Round II: Balsamic Gorgonzola Deliciousness

Well, my wheat berry obsession is ongoing, prompting me to turn another dish I like into a wheat berry based dish, at least for the moment. The inspiration today is a spinach salad with apples (or pears), Gorgonzola, and walnuts with balsamic dressing. I like fennel in that salad sometimes, so you can toss that in for bonus points.

For those of you unfamiliar with wheat berries, here's what they look like:

I will also admit that my decision to make something with Gorgonzola was in no small part influenced by my desire for this pre-dinner snack:

At any rate... here is the skinny on the salad:

-2 shallots- sliced and carmelized (ooh, didn't see this one coming, did you? its worth the slow carmelization process, I promise, it adds a big level of deliciousness).
-1.5 coarsely chopped apples (the rest is your snack!)
-1 cup dry wheat berries, cooked*
-some walnuts, maybe 1/3c? toasted.
-about 2oz crumbled Gorgonzola
-about 1/3c simple balsamic vinagrette (balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt, pepper)
-some very thinly sliced fennel

Combine together and chill.

This is how it looks:

It is DELICIOUS. The flavors just combine wonderfully- the warm taste of the toasted walnuts, the bite of the cheese, the freshness of the fennel, YUM.

*I have decided I can't advise you on the whole water:wheatberries ratio. I ended up following some advice I've gotten on other grains, which is basically to cook them like pasta- use a ton of water, boil them until they taste good (in this case 1-1.25 hours), and then drain in a strainer. Worked perfectly!

[[UPDATE! UPDATE!: so, I don't usually say this, but this was much better the first day I made it. I think it was because it was slightly warm, which made the caramelized shallots easier to taste, and the cheese a little softer. In eating the leftovers I actually ended up microwaving it a little (which didn't do as bad of things to the apples as you'd expect). Anyhow, I would not chill this until its cold, I'd just let it cool down and serve it either warm (not super hot, don't want the cheese to totally melt away) or room temp.]]

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