January 29, 2016

Mushroom Spinach Wheatberry Salad

Mushroom Spinach Wheatberry Salad

Last year I made a mushroom barley soup which has quickly become a staple in our house. I make it a few times each winter and often freeze a container for later. This week I decided to riff on it a little bit since I had some wheatberries to use up as part of my winter pantry experiment. Instead of soup I made a warm salad and topped it with a simple baked chicken breast for an easy weeknight dinner. It was full of umami mushroom flavors and was perfect for staying warm on a frigid winter evening.

The premise of the salad is simple, mushrooms are caramelized in a pan until cooked and slightly sweet. Spinach is stirred in at the end, then the vegetables are tossed with cooked wheatberries. It could hardly be simpler but like any good dish the whole is great than the sum of its parts. It is rich and meaty without weighing you down. It would also work well with barley, quinoa, or a similar whole grain that melds well with the rich flavor of mushrooms.

Mushroom Spinach Wheatberry Salad

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups wheatberries
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 lbs mushrooms of mixed variety, cut into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 cups roughly chopped baby spinach
  • Juice of one lemon
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  1. Add the wheatberries to a pot of boiling water and cook for 30 minutes, or until softened and chewy. Drain and add to a large serving bowl.
  2. In a large skillet warm ¼ cup of the olive oil until just shimmering. Add half of mushrooms and cook them well until golden brown, about 5 to 6 minutes. Then remove them to the large serving bowl, add another ¼ of the olive oil, and cook the remaining mushrooms. The last two minutes of cooking add in the spinach and stir until it is completely wilted.
  3. In a small bowl add the remaining olive oil, thyme, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and mix well. Drizzle it over the mushrooms and toss everything together. Serve warm.
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