Recipes Sides:

Wheatberry Grain Bowl Recipe With Pickled Rhubarb and Humboldt Fog

By Athena Calderone for Cook Beautiful.

Don’t tell my friend asparagus, but rhubarb is my favorite of the swoony stalks that pop up each spring. I love the deep pink, bracingly bitter vegetable so much, in fact, that I became hell-bent on figuring out a new way to use her. Instead of sweetening her up, as usual, to make a pie or crumble, I amped up her inherent sourness with a quick bath in the pickling solution. The tangy result is, I must admit, utterly brilliant—especially in this grain bowl recipe when mingled with the creamy goat cheese, snappy raw spring veg, nutty wheat berries, and herby vinaigrette.

Make this ahead of time for a quick and easy weekday lunch, an impromptu picnic in the park, or a delicious side for your next gathering at home—we guarantee it will be a hit! My swoon tip for plating a salad with so many different components is to layer them to ensure that the prettiest ones are front and center. Here, the rosy rhubarb; vibrant, bias-cut snap peas; and sculptural mint sprigs are added to the bowl on top of the yummy—but less handsome—grains. 

Read on for this delicious grain bowl recipe and be sure to tag us on Instagram @eyeswoon to share your creations at home. For more delicious salad recipes, visit our recipe archive with options that range from healthy to decadent. 

Johnny Miller for Cook Beautiful
Johnny Miller for Cook Beautiful

Don’t tell my friend asparagus, but rhubarb is my favorite of the swoony stalks that pop up each spring.

SERVES 4 TO 6

Ingredients:

FOR THE PICKLED RHUBARB
1 cup (240 ml) cider vinegar
1 cup (200 g) sugar
Pinch kosher salt
2 cups (130 g)
½-inch-thick (12-mm-thick) slices rhubarb (about 2 large stalks)

FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
¼ cup (60 ml) champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ cup (120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ cup (13 g) finely chopped fresh mint
¼ cup (13 g) finely chopped fresh parsley
½ shallot, finely chopped
Salt and freshly cracked pepper

FOR THE WHEATBERRY SALAD
1 cup (185 g) wheatberries
Kosher salt
¾ pound (340 g) snap peas, blanched, shocked
1 head watercress, stalky ends trimmed (or use purple watercress)
3 radishes
2 spring onions, bulbs and light green stems
5 ounces (140 g) Humboldt Fog or other mild goat cheese

Method:

Make the pickled rhubarb: Place the cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and 1 cup (240 ml) water in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Place the rhubarb in a nonreactive bowl. Slowly pour the hot liquid over the rhubarb and cool to room temperature. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the champagne vinegar, honey, mustard, oil, and lemon juice until well combined. Stir in the mint, parsley, and shallot. Season with salt and pepper.

Make the wheatberry salad: Preheat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC). Spread the wheatberries evenly on
a baking sheet. Bake until the wheatberries are toasted and fragrant, about 10 minutes. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups (720 ml) of heavily salted water to a boil. Add the wheatberries and gently simmer, covered, until tender but chewy, 45 to 60 minutes. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and cool to room temperature. Once the wheatberries have
cooled, lightly drizzle them with a small amount of the vinaigrette, reserving the remainder. Stored in an airtight container and refrigerated, the wheatberries can be made and pre-dressed up to 1 week in advance.

While the wheatberries are cooking, prep the remaining ingredients: Thinly slice the snap peas, rinse and dry the watercress, thinly slice the radishes (ideally on a mandoline) and spring onions, and crumble the cheese.

Just before serving, drain the rhubarb. Spoon the wheatberries into a big bowl and top with the rhubarb and vegetables. Pour in about half of the remaining vinaigrette and toss until all the ingredients are evenly coated, adding additional vinaigrette if necessary. Top with crumbled cheese.

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