John and I eat Mediterranean food at least once a week, often in the form of a hummus snack plate for lunch. It’s so simple, healthy and satisfying, and it’s something we always agree on.
Beyond whipping up hummus and falafel, my Mediterranean/Greek food skills were lacking. It was time for that to change.
A few years ago when we were still living in Portland, I accompanied a friend to a farmers market where I experienced a Greek wheat berry salad that kind of changed my life.
Well, that’s dramatic.
But I remember it was one of the first meals that proved to me you really don’t need meat or gobs of peanut butter to fill you up. The idea to recreate that salad at home stuck with me, and I’m so glad it finally surfaced.
You’re going to love this simple salad. It’s hearty, customizable year-round, and requires just 10 ingredients including the simple Greek dressing.
It all starts with wheat berries – a whole grain that’s nutty with a slight chew and loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals.
Next come roasted onions and leeks, baby tomatoes, kalamata olives, and a 5-ingredient savory Greek dressing.
It all melds together to create a seriously hearty, flavorful Greek salad perfect for lunch, dinner or a snack. The wheat berries provide chew and heartiness, the roasted veggies warm things up and add a comforting touch, and olives and tomatoes keep it light and fresh.
Serve this salad as is or with your favorite add-ins. I enjoyed mine with garlic hummus and pita chips. You could also throw in some fresh greens for more nutrition.
Took me right back to the farmers market where I inhaled my first Mediterranean wheat berry salad out of a paper cup in the summer sun. Good memories. I hope you make this salad and enjoy it much as I did. Cheers!
Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad
- 1 pinch salt
- 1 cup wheat berries*
- 1 cup baby tomatoes (halved)
- 1/4 cup kalamata olives (halved)
- 1 medium red onion (sliced)
- 2 large leeks (green stems removed, thoroughly washed and diced)
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/2 cup good olive oil
- Hummus, pine nuts, fresh parsley, pita chips
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
- Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Then add salt and wheat berries and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and continue cook for 25-30 minutes or until tender. They should be chewy but not tough.
- Drain and add to a large serving bowl. Add 2 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt for added flavor (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
- Prep leeks and onions, then place on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Bake for 23-28 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Toss halfway through for even cooking. Set aside.
- In the meantime, prepare dressing by combining all ingredients except olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Stream in olive oil as you whisk to emulsify. Otherwise, add all ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
- Add tomatoes, olives, roasted leeks and onions to the wheat berries and toss with enough dressing to coat. You’ll likely have leftover dressing.
- Serves 4 generously (as original recipe is written). Cover and refrigerate to keep for up to several days. The longer it sits and marinates, the more intense the flavor becomes.
- Additional garnishes might include hummus, pine nuts, parsley and pita chips.
*Wheat berry instructions from the Kitchn
*You can sub 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped per 1 tsp dried.
*Dressing adapted from Ina Garten
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.
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