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Healthy Eating, Mains, Salads

Chicken and wheat berry salad

Whole grains add crunch and nutty flavor to dishes. Here I use barley in a rich-tasting risotto with broccoli, millet in Cheddar-buttermilk biscuits and wheat berries in a flavorful chicken salad. These recipes may give you ideas for adding whole ... Read more

Total time: 40 minutes | Serves 6
  • 2/3 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/2 cup wheat berries
  • Coarse salt
  • 2 3/4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons minced red onion
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 3 cups skinless diced roasted chicken pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced celery
  • 1 tart large red apple, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 4 cups crisp, thinly sliced, chilled romaine lettuce (use inner leaves, cut in half lengthwise)

Step 1Spread almonds on baking sheet and toast in 350-degree oven until light golden, 5 to 7 minutes. Set aside.

Step 2Place wheat berries in strainer and rinse with cold water. Put in 2-quart saucepan with 2 1/2 cups water and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Drain well. You should have 2 cups. Set aside.

Step 3Place cranberries, 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar, 1/4 cup water and 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar in small saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil, onion, 1 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Set aside vinaigrette.

Step 4Place chicken, celery and apple in large bowl. Add wheat berries and vinaigrette. Toss until well mixed. Taste; adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. (Can be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Let rest at room temperature for about 1 hour before serving.)

Step 5Toss lettuce with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon vinegar, salt and pepper; this is scant dressing. Arrange lettuce on platter. Toss chicken salad with all but 2 tablespoons almonds. Taste; adjust seasoning. Mound salad in center, leaving some lettuce exposed. Garnish with remaining almonds. Serve.

Note: White wheat berries can be found at health food stores.
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