Wheatberry Salad with Tomatoes and Olives

Can you grill dairy foods? That’s a dilemma (sort of) this weekend as we celebrate two holidays at once! For Jews, it’s Shavuot. For all Americans, it’s Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the grilling season. As far as the food stuff goes, Shavuot is the “dairy” holiday. When we eat all things cheese (as well as other dairy products), especially cheesecake.  But, except for a few items, like grilled halloumi cheese, which is quite delicious (cut the cheese into strips, coat them with olive oil, stick them on a skewer and grill them until they’re crispy on the outside), we don’t grill most dairy products. However, we can grill fish and eat them with other dairy products. Or grill meat and eat some wonderful side dishes (and save the cheesecake for another time during the holiday). This wheatberry salad fits perfectly into both holiday meals. It is a substantial side dish, you can make it ahead and it can be either dairy or non-dairy (leave the cheese out, substitute nothing or some other vegetable of tofu). You can make this into a meat-based salad too — add some cut up grilled chicken or beef, etc. Matter of fact, this is a good, healthy salad choice for the entire summer. My kids love when I make this kind of salad. This is the young generation’s way to eat now. Less meat, more whole grains and veggies. You can use this salad as part of a vegetarian meal. Also, just as you can leave out the cheese, you can make this dish with a different grain (like barley or quinoa). Use different herbs. Play around with the recipe and invent on your own. Cook the grain according to the directions on the package. The rest, as the great sage Hillel said, “is commentary.” Wheatberry Salad with Tomatoes and Olives 1 cup wheatberries 3 cups water 1 15-ounce can (drained) black beans 1 large avocado, cut into chunks 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper 1 cup halved grape tomatoes 1/2 cup chopped red onion 1 cup chopped cheese or meat (optional) 1 fresh serrano pepper, deseeded and finely chopped 2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves 1/3 cup olive oil 3 tablespoons red wine vingar 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin salt and freshly ground pepper to taste Place the wheatberries in a large saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 50-60 minutes or until the wheat is tender. Drain any remaining liquid and place the wheatberries in a bowl to cool. Add the black beans, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, cheese or meat if used, serrano pepper and oregano and toss to distribute ingredients evenly. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, wine vinegar, mustard and cumin. Pour over the salad and toss the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let the salad stand at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 6-8 servings

Can you grill dairy foods?

That’s a dilemma (sort of) this weekend as we celebrate two holidays at once! For Jews, it’s Shavuot. For all Americans, it’s Memorial Day, the unofficial start of the grilling season.

As far as the food stuff goes, Shavuot is the “dairy” holiday. When we eat all things cheese (as well as other dairy products), especially cheesecake. 

But, except for a few items, like grilled halloumi cheese, which is quite delicious (cut the cheese into strips, coat them with olive oil, stick them on a skewer and grill them until they’re crispy on the outside), we don’t grill most dairy products.

However, we can grill fish and eat them with other dairy products.

Or grill meat and eat some wonderful side dishes (and save the cheesecake for another time during the holiday).

This wheatberry salad fits perfectly into both holiday meals. It is a substantial side dish, you can make it ahead and it can be either dairy or non-dairy (leave the cheese out, substitute nothing or some other vegetable of tofu). You can make this into a meat-based salad too — add some cut up grilled chicken or beef, etc.

Matter of fact, this is a good, healthy salad choice for the entire summer.

My kids love when I make this kind of salad. This is the young generation’s way to eat now. Less meat, more whole grains and veggies. You can use this salad as part of a vegetarian meal.

Also, just as you can leave out the cheese, you can make this dish with a different grain (like barley or quinoa). Use different herbs. Play around with the recipe and invent on your own. Cook the grain according to the directions on the package. The rest, as the great sage Hillel said, “is commentary.”

Wheatberry Salad with Tomatoes and Olives

1 cup wheatberries

3 cups water

1 15-ounce can (drained) black beans

1 large avocado, cut into chunks

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1 cup halved grape tomatoes

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1 cup chopped cheese or meat (optional)

1 fresh serrano pepper, deseeded and finely chopped

2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons red wine vingar

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the wheatberries in a large saucepan and add the water. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce the heat, cover the pan and simmer for about 50-60 minutes or until the wheat is tender. Drain any remaining liquid and place the wheatberries in a bowl to cool. Add the black beans, avocado, bell pepper, tomatoes, red onion, cheese or meat if used, serrano pepper and oregano and toss to distribute ingredients evenly. In a small bowl whisk the olive oil, wine vinegar, mustard and cumin. Pour over the salad and toss the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let the salad stand at least 30 minutes before serving. Makes 6-8 servings