The Veggie Table: Asparagus and Currant Wheat Berry Salad

By: Janel Ovrut Funk

It’s finally safe to say -- without fear of jinxing myself -- that warmer weather has arrived! Spring is finally here, and for me, that means more BBQs, picnic lunches, and potluck gatherings. I love the opportunity to share great recipes with others, and attending get-togethers where I’m invited to bring a dish means I know there will always be a meat-free option on the menu. One of my favorite things to bring is a grain-based salad, since it’s hefty enough for me to enjoy as the main part of my meal, while others may like it as a side dish to accompany their meat entrée. Most grain-based salads can be enjoyed hot or cold, which is refreshing in warmer temps. It also means I can prepare the salad the night before, let the flavors marinate, and then just grab and go when it’s time to meet up with friends and family for a warm-weathered occasion.

I recently made this Asparagus and Currant Wheat Berry Salad for dinner. Asparagus is synonymous with spring and the simple oil-and-vinegar dressing means you can whip this up with ingredients you already have on hand. Don’t have wheat berries? Try brown rice or quinoa. You could also replace the currants with raisins, and the almonds with walnuts. There are plenty of possibilities, so you’ll never get bored bringing this dish to all of your spring and summer events.

Asparagus and Currant Wheat Berry Salad

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cups hard wheat berries
3/4 cup currants
1 pound asparagus spears, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1/4 cups almonds, chopped
2 green onions, white and green parts, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Directions:

In a large pot combine the wheat berries and enough water to come 2 inches over the wheat berries. Bring to a boil and cook uncovered for 1 hour, or until tender.  Drain and let cool.

In a large bowl, combine the wheat berries, almonds, asparagus, currants, green onions, olive oil and vinegar. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground pepper.

TELL US: What’s your favorite food to bring to a potluck or BBQ?

Janel Ovrut, MS RD LDN, loves experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking. Read her food blog, Eat Well with Janel , and follow her on Twitter @DietitianJanel .  Catch up on her previous posts here .

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