Saturday, February 14, 2009

Salmon and wheat berries

I doubt I am alone when I say I used to be flummoxed with what to with wheat berries. And then one weekend I was getting ready to make some and I was out of the grains I usually serve with it. No lentils, no wild rice, but it turns out we had a jar of wheat berries soaking in water in the fridge. (Yeah, we got that far but we didn't know what to do with them next.) So, I looked around the kitchen and gathered up some various CSA veggies and here is what I did.

3/4 to 1 pound salmon fillets
1 c wheat berries
2 carrots, diced
Peppers, green onions, any CSA veggies you think would be good
Olive oil
salt and pepper

1/4 c olive oil
1 t grated lemon zest (or orange if you got one from the CSA)
2 T fresh lemon (or orange) juice
2 cloves of garlic, chopped or minced
2 T chopped herbs (tarragon is really good with this)
1 t sea salt

In a small jar with a tight fitting lid add the vinaigrette ingredients. Shake vigorously and set aside.

As mentioned in other wheat berry recipes, it is best to soak them overnight. Add them to a pot with a quart of water or so and simmer for an hour and a half. You want them to be tender, but still a bit chewy. We like them best when they are all popped open.

I sauted the veggies in olive oil until they were just getting tender and I cooked my salmon (after rubbing it with olive oil, salt and pepper) for about three minutes on a side in a cast iron skillet. I then mixed my veggies into the wheat berries, added the vinaigrette, and tossed. (A note on the vinaigrette: the amount mentioned here in the recipe is going to lot. You'll probably only use half of it for this recipe and then you can use the rest in something else. It is pretty versatile. ) I served my salmon right on top of the wheat berries and veggies combo. The earthy, nutty flavor of the wheat berries, and the sweetness of the veggies, were perfect with the fish.

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