Wheat Berry Salad with Apples & Pomegranate Seeds

Thank you to the newest issue of Food and Wine Magazine for giving me a great after hike lunch recipe.  I made this the day before the hike. It held up very well, overnighted in the fridge and sat in the car (not in a cooler, winter hike) waiting for us to devour it.  Devour it we did!! It was very simple to make, but did require some time cooking on the stove (but you can spend that time planning your next hike).

It is a two parter recipe, with my editorials underlined and asterisked.  Here is the first part:

Ingredients

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups wheat berries (10 ounces)

1 small onion, finely diced
2 thyme sprigs *I used dried

5 cups water
Kosher salt

Directions

    In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the wheat berries and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly toasted; the grains will turn slightly opaque just before browning. Add the onion and thyme and cook over low heat, stirring, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the water and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over very low heat until the water is absorbed and the grains are tender. Fluff the grains and discard the thyme sprigs.  *The grains didn’t absorb all the water for me and I don’t like them mushy, so I drained the remaining water off when the berries were the consistency I liked.

    Part Two:

    Ingredients

    1/3 cup pine nuts, preferably from Italy (2 ounces)  *I left out the nuts, as they don’t like me
    1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    3 tablespoons white wine vinegar  *used champagne vinegar, as didn’t have white wine
    1 small shallot, minced (2 tablespoons)  *used the onions from the grain mixture, no shallots
    Salt and freshly ground pepper
    4 cups Thyme-Scented Wheat Berries
    1 large tart apple, such as Honeycrisp, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
    1/2 cup pomegranate seeds (from 1 pomegranate) *If you have a trader joe nearby,they have fresh seeds in the refrigerator section, easier than doing it yourself
    1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

    Directions

    Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the pine nuts in a pie plate and toast until golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
    In a bowl, whisk the oil with the vinegar and shallot and season with salt and pepper. Add the Thyme-Scented Wheat Berries, pine nuts, apple, pomegranate seeds and parsley; toss before serving.

    Make Ahead

      The salad without the pine nuts can be refrigerated overnight. Bring the salad to room temperature before serving.
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