you bought it, you eat it: wheat berries

In trying to expand my grain horizons beyond rice, barley, and the quinoa that I feel I ought to love more than I do, I picked up wheat berries. Which did not cook as per Fairway’s instructions stuck to the side, but eventually acquired tenderness. What they failed to acquire was purpose. You — or at least I — can’t really eat them by themselves.

On a whim, I combined them with some leftover navy beans and, since it was time to trim the mint plant, some mint. And it was pretty good, especially when I dropped a little bit of ricotta salada on top. Nonetheless, I could see room for improvement.

Take two got fancier the more I pondered it. First, there would be two kinds of beans. And then maybe something in the diced veggie category for color, maybe use crumbled feta instead of the ricotta salada, possibly try it with basil since the basil plant needed a trim…

Wheat berry and bean salad There was too much feta, although it wasn’t as overwhelming as it looks in the picture. And I ended up with green pepper instead of red because it was $1.50 cheaper. And there are no pictures of the last meal I made of this, which involved slicing up some tart strawberries to make a juicy counterpoint to the cheese.

But, all that said, for an off-the-cuff composition, it really didn’t turn out too badly. It was tasty, it was toothsome, and it was filling, which made it perfect to take to lunch in one of my smaller bento containers.

What’s in here: navy beans, pink beans, wheat berries, green pepper, feta, fresh basil.

I used ~1.5 cups dried beans — any would work, but this is what I had 3/4 cup left each of — and 1 cup wheat berries, a moderate sized pepper, too much feta, and basil to taste (probably under a cup). It made a lot. Too much for one person to finish over time, really. But I’m definitely going to do it again.

Berry good?

Berry good?

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