I decided to make this delicious wheat berry salad after stopping at my local farmer’s market this weekend.  Tender spring greens are just starting to arrive and peppery arugula is one of my absolute favorites. 

This salad is adapted from a recipe that originally appeared in Vegetarian Times.  The flavor combination of the tangy goat cheese, the sweet raisins and the salty olives is amazing.  While this salad is packed with a true whole grain, protein-rich chickpeas and nutritious greens, no one will think of this as the “healthy” dish.  This is a fantastic vegetarian option for a brunch, lunch or warm-weather dinner.

Arugula, Goat Cheese & Green Olive Wheat Berry Salad

½ C. wheat berries (hard winter variety)
2 C. filtered water
1 ½ C. cooked chickpeas or 15 oz. canned chick peas (no salt added), drained and rinsed
3 celery stalks, diced
¼ C. golden raisins
2 scallions, chopped
8 large pitted green olives, chopped
3 oz. arugula, washed and dried
2 oz. goat cheese or feta
¼ C. pistachio nuts, shelled

2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs. raw honey (or agave nectar)

1.       Soak wheat berries overnight to cut down on the cooking time (2 hours without soaking, 1 hour if you have soaked them).  Rinse wheat berries in a fine strainer.  Put wheat berries in a small pot with 2 C. filtered water over high heat.  Cover pot and bring to a boil.  Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered for about an hour.  Grains should have a chewy, tender center but should not be mushy.  Let cool slightly in the cooking pot.  Once cooled, pour the wheat berries into a strainer and drain any remaining water.


2.       In a medium bowl, combine wheat berries, chickpeas, celery, raisins, scallions, olives and cheese.  The wheat berry mixture can be prepared up to 2 days in advance and store in refrigerator.


3.       To make the dressing, whisk the balsamic vinegar and the honey (or agave nectar) until well combined.  Mix half of the dressing in with the wheat berry mixture.


4.       Before serving, toss the arugula with the other half of the dressing in a separate bowl.  Pile arugula on top of the wheat berry mixture and toss to combine all together right before serving.


Serves 8 as a side


·        This recipe can easily be doubled for a larger crowd, or if you would like to have leftovers.

·        If you can’t find any arugula you can use baby spinach instead



See the following blog for more farmer’s market inspired recipes: