Wheatberry Salad with Apple, Fennel and Pomegranate

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This is for your hangover.

Not the drinking kind–for a booze hangover, in fact, I’d give you a high-five and direct your debauched little butt to waffle thing one and waffle thing two.  Maybe some eggs sitting on a bunch of spicy tomato and chickpea sauce.  Oh!  Or a chicken and waffles sandwich.  Which, by the way, has bacon-jalapeno jam on it, which you could eat with a spoon if you really YOLOed it up the night before.  Or maybe it’s lunchtime already and you feel like spicy Thai noodles to make you feel human again (if only by melting your face off).  Hair of the dog? I have a dangerous idea for you.

What I really have in mind today, though, is a gravy-meat-potatoes hangover.  We’ve all been there; if you can’t possibly stand the thought of drippy, fatty, gravy-laden meat, atop a bed of starchy, butter-laden potatoes, I have an idea for you.  It’s fresh, hearty, filling and flavorful.

See, I’m not a lazy food blogger–I’m just thinking ahead, is all.

Wheatberries are essentially just wheat kernels–the real deal before it gets made into flour.  They’re available hard or soft; hard wheatberries are chewier and have more protein and less carbs, but require overnight soaking and a longer cooking time.  I went with soft wheatberries here, but either works, of course.

They make a beautiful base for hearty entree salads, and in this case, we do sweet, juicy apple, tart, delightfully bright pomegranate seeds, and crunchy shaved fennel.

If you’re not into fennel, try shaving some raw brussels sprouts.  Kale, maybe?  You could skip it altogether, and/or serve this on a bed of greens.  Around here, we play with our food.

I do love fennel, though.  It tastes like licorice…  Therefore it’s the candy of vegetables.

(Too far, I know.  Too far.  Forgive me.)

A simple dressing of olive oil, shallots, lemon juice, a bit of maple syrup pulls it all together.

And I don’t care what’s in a dish–if it’s topped with pomegranate seeds, it immediately becomes festive and cheerful and bright.  This will get you in the mood for the second big food holiday that’s a-coming…  In more ways than one.

Look at this: all red and green and…  Lacking gravy.

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  I hope you have a day full of love and bliss–in your heart and in your belly.  I’m thankful for each of you, I really am.  You could be doing an infinite number of much better things with your time than reading my silly drivel, yet you read anyway.  That’s incredibly humbling.  Thanks so much!  xoxo

Wheatberry Salad with Apple, Fennel and Pomegranate

1 cup soft wheatberries
1 bulb fennel
2 small apples (a crisp, sweeter variety like Gala, Fuji or Honeycrisp)
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
1 tablespoon minced shallot
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup

Rinse wheatberries and combine in a medium saucepan with 3 cups water and a pinch of salt.  Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, covered, until wheatberries are plump and chewy and most of the water is absorbed, 45 minutes to an hour or so.  Set aside to cool a bit.

To make the dressing, combine shallot, olive oil, lemon juice and maple syrup in a mason jar and shake well.

Shave the fennel with a mandoline, or slice thin by hand.  Core and dice the apples, then immediately toss together wheatberries, fennel, apple, pomegranate seeds and dressing.  Garnish with fennel fronds.  Serves 4 or so as a main, more as a side.  You can also make this go even further by serving it on a bed of greens.

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5 Responses to Wheatberry Salad with Apple, Fennel and Pomegranate

  1. Yeahhhhh…fennel is “the candy of vegetables” in the same way that apples are “nature’s candy,” which is to say: not at all. Nice try, though!

    I love your blog and am thankful to have found someone so funny and talented to read. Happy Thanksgiving!

  2. Oh yes. I need a food-hangover treatment. This could do it! Happy Thanksgiving!

  3. Good clean eating for the day after the day after Thanksgiving! GREG

  4. Well. The opening paragraph sent me into paroxysms, as you nonchalantly mentioned my all time favorites of your blog. 1/2 of which I have actually been successful with (did I ever happen to mention that I have made new friends based on that jam and/or that whiskey drink ~~ Brooklyn neighbors are surprisingly easy .. . or is that just me? ;) the other 1/2, I will be successful with. And soon. You keep on having wonderful Holidays with that fireplace and all . . . :)