Thursday, July 12, 2012

Wheat Berries with Greens

I gave up waiting for the pot of greens to grow.  When I came home, there were some gorgeous dandelion greens sprouting all over one part of my yard.  As long as I had 45 minutes to kill while some crumb chicken was baking, I was able to use some of it to pull the weeds and cook them up.

Really, the dandelions were all about experimenting with whole wheat berries.  Cooked similar to rice, they can be served hot, or chilled into the base of a grain salad.  As a whole grain, they contain more fiber and protein than something highly processed like white rice.  The earthy, red, chewy texture is well-suited to stuffings or other Thanksgiving-like side dishes.

So I made the dandelion greens according to this recipe, tasted the mixture, and it was good until the bitterness kicked in.  I do not possess much in the way of bitter taste buds, which means they must have been simply awful.  I had been warned that only very young and tender dandelion leaves are palatable, but I thought that was what I was eating.

So instead of calling this "with Dandelion Greens", I'm giving you the option of picking your leafy vegetable.

1 C dry red wheat berries
1 lb leafy greens, such as spinach, collard, mustard, or dandelion
2 cloves garlic
1 Tb olive oil
salt to taste

1.  Bring wheat and 2 C lightly salted water to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cook until the berries are softened and chewy, about 1/2 hour.

2.  In a skillet, sauté garlic in the oil.  Add the greens and salt to taste.  Cook until the greens are wilted but not dry, about 2 minutes.

3.  Drain wheat and add sautéed greens.  Serve hot as a side with a hot meal, or cold as a salad.

Difficulty rating  π

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