Golden Beet Salad with Wheat Berries and Pumpkin Seed Vinaigrette

10 June

4 medium golden beets
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup uncooked wheat berries (you can substitute any grain you like, but the wheat berries add a wonderful chewy texture)
2 cups water
½ cup unsalted pumpkin seeds, toasted and divided
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup diced celery
¼ cup thinly sliced shallots
2 tablespoons chopped chives (I use the green part of green onions)

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Leave root and 1 inch of stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place beets in the center of a large piece of parchment paper and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil; fold paper over the beets tightly – you can then cover this with aluminum foil to ensure a nice tight wrap. Bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until beets are tender. You want them to be a bit firm. Unwrap beets; cool. Trim off beet roots; rub off skins. Cut beet into wedges.
3. While the beets are cooking, combine wheat berries and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat; simmer for 1 hour or until just tender, stirring occasionally. Drain and cool slightly.
4. Place ¼ cup pumpkin seeds in a large bowl and coarsely crush with the backside of a spoon. Add honey and next 4 ingredients (through pepper); stir well with a whisk. Gradually add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add beets, wheat berries, celery, shallots, and green onions; toss gently. Sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup pumpkin seeds.

Serves 8

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