Warm Wheat Berry and Mushroom Salad
- 2 cups wheat berries
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 bundle fresh thyme
- Kosher salt
- 4 ounces slab bacon, cut into lardons
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
- Pinch crushed red pepper
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary, leaves picked and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
- 1 1/2 pounds assorted mushrooms, sliced (shiitake, cremini or oyster work well)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, finely chopped
Put the wheat berries in a medium saucepan and toss in the bay leaf and thyme bundle. Fill the pan with water and season abundantly with salt. Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the wheat berries until they are soft, 1 hour. Drain the wheat berries and reserve.
In a large straight-sided saute pan, render the bacon until almost crispy. Add a few drops of olive oil and add the onions. Season the onions with salt, a pinch of crushed red pepper and the rosemary. Bring the pan to a medium heat and cook the onions for 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer.
Add the mushrooms and stir to coat with the oil. Season the mushrooms with salt and cook them for 5 to 6 minutes. Add the wine and cook until the wine has reduced by half. Toss in the wheat berries and the chicken stock. Cook until the stock has reduced almost all the way but the salad is not dry.
Stir in the parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.
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