Cracked Wheat Berries – A Tasty Side Dish That’s Good For You
This recipe is part of the third meal we received from Blue Apron and was served with roasted bone-in chicken breasts. Roasting chicken breasts is easy but finding a delicious side dish to go with them can turn a very simple, basic meal into something spectacular and that’s what this side dish does.
This is a perfect dish to usher in Spring with fresh citrus fruits, fresh herbs and earthy tasting cracked wheat berries. Add some toasted pistachios and jalapeño peppers, you have an incredibly flavorful dish.
What Are Cracked Wheat Berries
Wheat berries are the whole wheat kernels with only the hulls removed. Cracked wheat berries are these whole wheat berries that been broken up into smaller pieces. If you were to steam and toast the wheat berries before cracking, you’d end up with bulgur wheat, a product that cooks faster because it is already partially cooked.
Cracked Wheat Berries with Jalapeno Herb Salsa
2 shallots, peeled and finely minced
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 1/2 cups cracked wheat berries
2 tangelo (you can substitute an orange if you can’t find a tangelo
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped into small pieces
2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and finely minced (optional but will give it a nice kick)
1 bunch parsley, stems removed and discarded, leaves finely chopped
1 bunch chives, finely chopped
Olive oil, for drizzling
Salt and pepper, to taste
How To Prepare At Home
In a medium-sized bowl, add the white wine vinegar and minced shallots. Let this sit while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
Fill a large saucepan or medium sized pot with salted water and bring to a boil. Add the cracked wheat berries and cook for 20 minutes until tender. Drain thoroughly and return to the pot and reserve off heat.
While the cracked wheat berries are cooking, prepare the citrus fruits by cutting off a 1/4 inch from the tops and bottoms of the fruit. Remove the peel and pith with a sharp paring knife being careful not to cut yourself. By removing the bottoms of the fruit and sitting the fruit on the flat ends should help.
Slice the clementines into 1/4 inch rounds and dice the tangelos. For the grapefruits, cut out the individual sections by cutting along both sides of the thin membranes that separate each segment. Reserve.
Heat a small sauté pan over medium heat and add the chopped pistachios. Using a wooden spoon, keep the pistachios moving so they don’t burn. Alternatively, you can keep them moving by shaking the pan back and forth. Your goal is to toast the pistachios. Don’t burn them.
When the pistachios are done, remove them and add to the reserved shallots along with the jalapeño peppers, parsley and chives. Drizzle a little olive oil over this mixture, season with salt and pepper and mix well to combine.
Add half this jalapeno-herb mixture to the cooked cracked wheat berries along with the clementines, grapefruit and tangelo. Save the other half of the salsa to serve on top of whatever you’re going to serve this side dish with. We served it with roasted chicken breasts.
This is a great side dish that can go well with most meats, poultry and can see it working with a firm white fish like halibut or sea bass.
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