real life test kitchen: laurie david’s wheat berry salad


I don’t know about you, but in the summertime, I hate cooking. Or should I say, I hate using HEAT to cook things. I’m always looking for easy summer salad recipes that I can make in bulk and then dip into for several days. When I got a sneak peek at upcoming cookbook The Family Dinner by Laurie David, I had to give this Wheat Berry Salad recipe a try. Even though I am quite certain that I have never eaten nor cooked a wheat berry, thinking about a salad made of cranberries, edamame, walnuts, and a citrus dressing sounded too good to pass up. Wheat berries, it turns out, are not the easiest thing to cook. The directions said to cook two cups in two inches of water, but I found that the water got soaked up very quickly and we had to add more. After about an hour of cooking, they reached a nice, chewy texture. After they cooled down (which took a while, so plan ahead for that), I added in one cup of dried cranberries, 1/3 a cup of canola oil, the zest and juice of two oranges, the zest and juice of one lemon, one cup of edamame beans, one cup of toasted walnuts, a handful of scallions, dried apricots, and of course, salt and pepper. The end result was really very yummy, and made me feel amazingly healthy and thrifty. Co-workers looked at my lunchtime salad with envy. I will most definitely repeat the recipe, though I think I may try to cook the wheat berries in a rice cooker. And I may give this Barefoot Contessa recipe a try.

Have you ever cooked with wheat berries? Let me know what you did with them! — Angela M.

Looking for more summer salad recipes? Don’t forget about these!
Curried Pasta Salad
Chicken Bowtie Pasta Salad
Chinese Chicken Salad
Vegetable Grain Salad with Chive Yogurt Dressing

From our partners

That sounds yummy. I have never tried wheat berries, but we do cook a lot of quinoa in our house. I make a big batch at the beginning of the week, then for snacks or as a meal side I mix in dried cranberries, flax seed meal, almonds/walnuts, and a salad dressing (usually cranberry walnut vinegarette). The possibility for mix-ins are endless!


wheat berries are fantastic! I usually soak them for a bit beforehand, like beans. The longer they get to soak, the quicker they cook

Megan B.

Or cook them in the pressure cooker! 45 minutes, tops!