Now that the weather is changing, mornings and nights taking on a comforting chill while the days are still warm and kissed by the sun, I have found myself craving roasted squash. There are few things that signify the coming of fall more for me than enjoying roasted squash fresh out of the oven, right off of the sheet tray (the smell of sage is another!).
To satisfy my autumnal craving, I tossed deeply roasted delicata squash straight from Plowbreak Farm into a dynamic and exciting salad full of nutty, chewy wheatberries, roasted beets, spicy mustard greens, dried cranberries and toasted pepitas. Every bite was exciting with lots of textures and a range of sweet and savory tones. You’ll be sure to fall for this wheatberry salad! (I had to!)
Fall’s Favorite Wheatberry Salad
- 1 cup red winter wheatberries
- 1 Plowbreak Farm delicata squash, halved, seeds removed and sliced
- 2 Plowbreak Farm beets, peeled and sliced
- 1 cup Plowbreak Farm Ethiopian Mustard Greens, chopped
- 1/2 cup pickled fennel, recipe here
- 1/2 cup toasted pepitas
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
- juice of a lemon
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus some for toasting and roasting
- salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Add the beets and squash to a baking sheet and toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes until deeply golden and softened.
To prepare the wheatberries, add a tablespoon of olive oil to a pot over medium heat. Add the wheatberries to the pot and toast, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes until fragrant and beginning to brown. Add two cups of water and a generous pinch of salt to the wheatberries and bring to a boil. If you have some vegetable or chicken stock handy, you could substitute that for the water here for extra flavor. Lower the heat to simmer and cook for 15 minutes with the lid on.
After 15 minutes, drain the wheatberries of any excess liquid and return to the pot. Stir the mustard greens and the dried cranberries into the hot grains so that they can wilt and plump respectively and set aside to cool slightly.
In a small bowl, whisk together the 1/4 cup of olive oil with the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper to taste. I left the dressing simple and crisp so that the farm fresh veggies are really allowed to shine.
In a large bowl, add the wheatberries with the greens and fruit, the roasted squash and beets, the pickled fennel and the toasted pepitas. Pour the dressing over and toss to combine. You can either enjoy this immediately with the ingredients still slightly warm or you can place the salad into the refrigerator until cold. This dish just gets better the longer that it sits in the fridge!