Wheat Berrys – My latest rice alternative

Jul 19, 2012 by

Last week, I was invited by Haven Havens Kitchen to take part in their cooking class. For those of you who live in New York City, Havens Kitchen is a most charming cooking school with a feel of Nantucket, a backyard farm, flip flops and Lionel Rand’s ‘Let there be love’. The pace in that kitchen is certainly a novelty for this city and the class has that ‘super-chilled’ dinner party feel. There is a little store and café at the front and a kitchen that is lined with jars of rose petals, celery seeds and bark-like spices.

I took a class Vegetarian Summer’s Meal class taught by cooking instructor Ashton Keefe. The class confirmed my recent findings at the farmers market – the produce may cost a little more but the strong flavors means there is a large impact with less ingredients.
We made chili corn pasta from fresh corn kernels, cheese and tomato pie and wheat berry salad. Feeling inspired by the wheat berry salad, I came home and made an adapted version of the dish with left over veggies.

Try this dish, it is a great alternative for rice and works really well as side dish or a salad. I briefly threw down some peppers, fennel slices and snap peas on a hot griddle pan for some charring and tossed them together with the cooked wheat berries and a mustard-basil dressing.


1 red pepper
1 medium sized red onion
1 medium sized fennel
Handful of snap peas
1 cup of uncooked wheat berries
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp. honey grain mustard
Handful of basil leaves
Salt and pepper
1 tsp. honey
2 tsp. red wine vinegar


1) Bring wheat berries to a boil and then simmer for 1 hour until tender. Drain and set aside
2) Coat the griddle pan with oil and cook the vegetables on high heat for a couple of minutes each side until there is some charring, remove and set aside
3) Whisk together the honey, mustard, oil, basil, red wine vinegar to create an emulsion
4) Dress the salad ingredients together whilst warm to allow flavors to weld
5) Serve warm or cold

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  1. grammarpolice

    Can’t wait to try this out..am always looking for alternatives to pasta and rice

  2. Simone

    I tired this and it was deliscious. My experience with wheatberries has always been like eating little stones, but cooked for this amount of time, they were nutty but not hard

  3. Thanks Simone, yes, the longer you boil wheatberries, the softer they get


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