Whole grains are for pulverizing into flour. I guess that's the mind of a miller. But I forget that you can eat them whole too!
I was reminded of this reading through Maria Speck's Ancient Grains for Modern Meals. She has some gorgeous recipes using whole rye, oat and farro berries. This recipe originally called for for Kamut berries. I didn't have any on hand so I thought I'd try it with White Sonora Wheat.
White Sonora Wheat is a soft wheat variety with small round berries. It's what's growing out a Sossaman's farm at the moment. Since I've never cooked wheat berries, I kept a close eye on the pot as it simmered and was amazed at how fragrent they were, like toasted walnuts. I got to know a whole new side of this grain's personality. Here's the recipe so you can see for yourself.
Whole Berry Sonora Salad with Carrots and Pomegranate
Recipe adapted from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals
½ Cup Kamut Berries (or White Sonora berries)
2 Cup Water
2 ½ Cups shredded carrots (about 3 medium)
¼ Cup plus 2 Tablespoons golden raisins
3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon honey
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ Cup toasted, chopped walnuts
¼ Cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish
To prepare the wheat berries, bring the water and the berries to a boil in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Decrease the heat to maintain a simmer, cover, and cook until the berries are tender but still slightly chewy, 50-60 minutes. Remove from the heat and, if you have time, let it sit, covered, for 10-15 minutes. Drain any remaining liquid and transfer to a large servicing bowl to cool.
Once the berries have cooled, make the salad. Add the carrots and the orange and lemon juices, honey, cinnamon, and salt until smooth. Gradually whisk in the olive oil in a thin stream.
To finish, pour the dressing over the salad and toss to combine. Taste and adjust for salt. Let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to come together. Toss again before serving; sprinkle with the walnuts and garnish with the pomegranate seeds.