One of my good friends (the one who guest posted here) had a birthday recently. We gifted her with a Global Santoku knife. After all, a chef needs her tools. While I did anticipate that she'd love it and put it to great use in her kitchen, I did not anticipate that I would want one for myself. Badly. Reaaaally badly. All week, I've been cruising Amazon for this knife, adding, removing, and re-adding it to my shopping cart. I've even been youtube-ing videos of people chopping with it. I've started to look at my own knives (which are perfectly great, by the way) and find reasons wrong with them so that I can somehow justify replacing them with these extravagant new ones. It's getting to be a problem.
Anyway, recently my friends and I spent a Friday evening at Sweetcheeks Q near Fenway. They serve some of the most delicious barbecue I've had, but the greatest thing about it is that they serve a KILLER FARM SALAD. It's generally seasonal, and the most recent one I had had roasted brussels sprouts, grapes, wheatberries, and parmesan cheese. Wow, talk about flavor.
So I set out to make my own version, and it was great. Adding any sort of roasted vegetables to a salad always makes it that much more flavorful, and the additional sweetness from the grapes gave it a burst of freshness. Wheatberries lend nuttiness and substance, so that you could have the salad by itself for a healthy weeknight meal and still feel full. Try this combo, I promise it won't disappoint.
For the salad (feeds 6):
- 1/2 lb brussels sprouts, halved and roasted with salt and pepper
- 1 large bunch (enough to fit a salad bowl) arugala and/or mixed greens
- 1/2 lb purple grapes, washed, dried, and halved
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, either grated or shredded
- 1 cup wheatberries, cooked according to the package* (substitute with farro or quinoa)
*Wheatberries need to be soaked overnight and take about an hour to cook, so plan ahead.
For the dressing (mild balsamic vinaigrette)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp good balsamic vinegar
- cracked black pepper, pinch of salt
First, preheat the oven to 400 degrees for roasting the brussels sprouts. Clean them, halve them, toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast them in the oven for about half an hour.
It's a good idea to prepare the wheatberries ahead of time. They will need to cool completely before adding to the salad. Toss the arugala in the vinaigrette first. Then, add brussels, wheatberries, and parmesan. Toss all of this together until everything is well coated. Lastly top with the grapes. Enjoy!