Roasted Root Vegetable & Wheat Berry Salad

wheat berry salad

Last summer, Romain went to stay at a place in the French countryside with a large, semi-wild potager, a vegetable garden, which the people who lived there fed themselves from. They let weeds grown, didn’t spray pesticides on anything, and they ate most of the food as close to raw as they could. During his stay, he called me and said that he never felt better in his life, and that he wanted to eat like that when he returned home to Paris.

parsnips

One doesn’t think of people in Paris munching on wheat berries and whole grains, but it is possible, especially because there are a few rather decent natural food chains here, as well as some smaller stores, too.


But finding root vegetables at my market, which is said to be the largest in the city, can be a bit of a challenge.

thyme farro

Root vegetables fell out of favor after the war, when people were fed up with dining on earthy vegetables and were happy to have something else to eat once the war ended. Thankfully, some of these légumes oubliés (forgotten vegetables) are making a comeback because I love me some earthy vegetables.

So right before Christmas, I thoroughly scoured my market and bought as many as I could, stockpiling as many of the knobbly roots as I could heft for the chilly days ahead. But unfortunately I realized I’d bought too many and needed to find a way to cook them up before my upcoming vacation. And I came up with this Roasted Root Vegetable & Wheat Berry Salad.

rocket roasted vegetables

Oddly, about a year ago I was on an airplane and was served one of those meals that’s allegedly lorded over by some celebrity chef, and the rutabaga puree was pretty delicious. (Which makes me wonder if perhaps the airlines could just serve root vegetable purees from now on; they’re easy, cheap, tasty, store and reheat well, and conform to a variety of diets. Think about it, United.)

But for some reason, even though kohlrabi (choux-rave), turnips (navet) and knobbly celery root (céleri-rave) are very easy to find in Paris, sweet parsnips (panais) and rutabagas (rutabagas) aren’t. So when I see them, I tend to go overboard and hoard all I can.

I used farro, which I load up on in Tuscany and bring home with me. But regular wheat berries, called épeautre in French, are very tasty. There’s some controversy about what farro actually is, but spelt and emmer are similar (if not the same), and are other options. For a gluten-free version, you could use buckwheat groats.

wheat berry salad plate

This salad is super-customizable. Since I love salt, I hesitate to give exact quantities. But it does take more salt than one might think prudent. Ditto with olive oil. I used the minimum amount, but as Gina DePalma said in her terrific Italian dessert book, Dolce Italiano, Italians use olive oil as a flavor, not just something you fry in. So pour it on!

Americans have been trained to use the minimum amount of fats and oils in our diets. And I’m in that camp as well, which means that I like to use good-tasting ones, since you need to use less of them to get the full effect. If you don’t believe me, taste a teaspoon of luscious, roasted hazelnut oil side-by-side with a teaspoon of plain salad oil. My work is finished here.

wintergarden

Okay, I lied. You’re not quite done with me yet. I had to be a little parsimonious with the fresh thyme. As you can see, my little rooftop garden hasn’t fared well this winter. Part of it is, er, plain neglect, and part of it is just it’s so darn cold nothing can survive out there. I was able to pluck out a few branches of thyme. But feel free to be more generous than I was.

uncooked vegetables verticalwheatberry salad

This salad was a pretty big hit around here, and although I don’t need to convert a certain someone to eating more whole grains and fresh vegetables. But there are plenty of others out there that haven’t seen the light. I doubt you’ll be seeing this healthy salad on any bistro or café menus anytime in the near future. There’s one table it will be appearing on in Paris, though, and that’s at chez David.

roasted root vegetable & wheat berry salad

Roasted Root Vegetable and Wheat Berry Salad

Six to Eight Servings

The wheat berries will take more salt that you might think, so salt the water generously that you boil them in. If you taste it, it should approximate sea water. And any assortment of firm-fleshed root vegetables will do (or butternut squash), but they should be all about the same size when diced.

This salad is open to lots of variations and interpretations. I gave a few at the end of the recipe, but it’d also be good served warm with roasted meat, chicken, or vegetables and any pan juices scraped over the top.

  • 1 1/2 cup (300 g) wheat berries or farro
  • one bay leaf
  • 2 pounds (1kg) assorted root vegetables; carrots, rutabagas, butternut squash, celery root, parsnips, and salsify, peeled and cut into thumbnail-sized cubes
  • 1 large red onion, peeled and diced
  • 1/3 cup (80 ml) plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 10 or so branches of fresh thyme
  • salt and freshly-ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) dried cranberries or cherries, coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC).

1. Bring about 2 quarts (2l) of well-salted water to a boil, then add the wheat berries and bay leaf. Cook until tender, but still chewy. Depending on the variety, they’ll take between 40-60 minutes to cook.

2. While the wheat berries are cooking, toss the diced vegetables on a baking sheet with the onion and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and thyme, seasoning with salt and pepper.

3. Roast the vegetables in the bottom third of the oven, stirring once midway during baking, for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and browned on the outside.

4. Once the wheat berries are cooked, drain them well, plucking out the bay leaf. Transfer the wheat berries to a bowl and mix in 1/3 cup (80 ml) of olive oil and the dried fruits, stirring well. Taste, seasoning with more salt if necessary

5. Stir in the root vegetables (I don’t mind the thyme branches in there, but you can remove them if you want) and do a final check for seasoning and add more salt, a few grinds of black pepper, and additional olive oil, if desired. You might want a splash of acid, like some vinegar in there, or check some of the additions below.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Storage: Can be made up to three days in advance, and refrigerated. Let come to room temperature before serving.

Here are some possible additions to add to the finished salad:

  • Toasted and coarsely chopped pecans, hazelnuts, or walnuts
  • Diced dried apricots in place of the cranberries or cherries
  • Cubes of feta or bleu cheese strewn over the top
  • A big squeeze of fresh lemon or tangerine juice, or some zest
  • Sautéed mushrooms tossed in with the root vegetables
  • Wilted greens, cooked with garlic, coarsely chopped
  • A generous handful of spicy arugula or flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
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    90 comments

    • This sounds wonderful! I’m looking for a way to get more veggies and whole grains into my diet and must try this — would love to see more healthy recipes like this one.
      I’ve just recently discovered roasted vegetables and that are my favorite way of cooking them — love the caramelized edges they get in the oven. Also think that roasting is better way of cooking than boiling in water so nutrients don’t leach out.

    • I do love root vegetables and I too have found that roasting them with garlic, herbs and olive oil make a great side dish. I love the idea of the salad though. Beautiful photos!

    • Oh my!!! I`ll try this with pasrnip, butternut squash, carrot and a Brazilian root called “mandioca”. Hum… =D

    • This was basically my dinner the last 2 nights. Last night was Quinoa with sunchokes and carrots, and the night before was wheat berries with parsnips. Both were made less healthy with the addition of cheese.

    • What a coincidence. I was just looking for ways to use wheat berries. Incorporating more grains into my diet is my New Year’s resolution. In my early stage enthusiasm embrace this mission, I bought a wide variety of grains, many I’ve never used, and now my pantry resembles the bulk bin at Whole Foods. I also recently tasted a wonderful wheat berry butternut squash dish at an Italian restaurant that is similar to the one you created. This recipe looks very good and I adore the simplicity of it.

    • I adore wheat berries, and love that they play a starring role in this healthy meal. It looks absolutely delicious!

    • This looks terrific! I will definitely give it a try. I usually make a Greek wheat berry salad that is a big hit, but with winter vegetables in season I would love to work those in instead. I agree that parsnips, turnips, and rutabegas are marvelous forgotten vegetables. They need to be highlighted more often!

    • This looks fantastic – always looking for new healthy salads to start the new year (and the European in me loves to be liberal with excellent olive oil for flavor as well).

    • This looks lovely…but I can’t bring myself to eat salads in winter. I’ll save it until there’s less snow on the ground and make it in March/April time, when spring is on the way but not here enough that the shops have anything other than winter veg in them…

    • Yum!! That sounds delicious (and like a great way to use up all the parsnips I get from my winter CSAs). Could you make it with sprouted wheatberries? I usually have them in the my fridge and since they are chewy and edible without cooking, it could make the whole thing a little quicker to make. Just thinking out loud…

    • Jenny: I don’t know which cooking method is more nutritious, but I eat far more vegetables if I roast them like this. In fact, oven-roasted is the way I eat most vegetables nowadays since I like the way it concentrates the flavors so well.

      Kelly: I’ve not used sprouted wheat berries, so can’t advise. I think a lot of the enjoyment of this salad is the chewy-firm wheat berries. And aside from cutting up the vegetables, the salad is very easy to make. But it’s open to lots of adaptations and you could certainly give it a try.

      Dana: Cheese is healthy! (Eat Cheese and Stay Slim). Vive le fromage!

    • Goedenavond David.
      Last time I was in France I bought some farine d”épautre. Didn’t have a clue as to what it was but intended to look it up at home. It appeared to be spelt-meel(farine). Now i always thougt spelt was right for a glutenfree diet. However you propose to have it changed for buckweat or barley in your salad. I’m confused now. Could you set me straight? (Then again please don’t.)
      Vous terminez votre histoire par dire que a partir de maintenant la salade sera sur le menu d’un certain resto nommé: “Chez David”. Eh bien, j’aimerais reserver une table.

    • I’m oddly addicted to farro and roasted root vegetables so look forward to replacing the summer farro recipe in Jeanne Kelley’s cookbook, “Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes” which includes haricots verts, sweet corn, mint, a touch of balsamic vinegar with a winter version. Thanks!! Farro, btw, is readily available at Whole Foods at a decent price.

    • Great recipe for using roasted root vegetables. I always end up eating them straight out of the pan. Looking forward to combining them with a grain.

      David: barley is not gluten free. Gluten free people will know that, but would hate to see someone cooking for a gf friend thinking barley was OK.

    • Hi Rijk & Barbara: From what I’ve read, spelt is not gluten-free. I didn’t know barley had gluten in it so I removed that from the recipe. I try to learn more about gluten-free options, since folks ask and I like to make the recipes accessible to as many as possible, so appreciate suggestions and advice.

    • This looks absolutely delicious. I will be making this over the weekend.

    • I love the look of this! I’ve been adding more grains into my diet – millet, quinoa, etc – and I really want to try this salad. Mmm. :-)

    • Yum! This is what I want right now, something healthy to at least feel like I’m sticking to my new year’s resolution (which is always the same and which I never stick to!)
      I would definitely add some (actually lots of) feta and maybe even some sauteed tofu.
      Thanks for the idea!

    • Sorry to disturb you again : I just found out that spelt indeed is not glutenfree but it is an option for people with a wheat intolerance or allergy.
      And I just cannot find out what ‘wheat berry’ is in dutch. Maybe one of your other readers can help me on this?

    • I adore thyme with roasted root vegetables – and think I may take you up on the goat cheese addition sometime!

    • I want to eat this right now! Looks so good!

    • This not only looks tasty but it’s beautiful. I just picked up some walnut oil a few weeks back and have been thinking about the best way to use it. Wonder if it would be a good substitute or addition to this salad?

      Beautiful photography. The lighting is perfect which is hard to come by this time of the year.

    • If you ever want to stock up on parsnips and swedes (rutabaga), they are a staple in our supermarkets at this time of year, so just hop across the Channel! However, if you could bring some wheat berries with you…. they are almost impossible to find, except in health food shops. Lovely Ebly is no longer sold, alas, and I usually buy a packet or two when I’m in France, but wasn’t able to this last time.

      However, I think pearl barley would be a great substitute, or even brown rice. This looks like a great recipe, and I certainly plan to try it. Although this week’s lunch is a curried winter vegetable soup, which is heaven!

    • This is what I should have had for dinner tonight. Instead, I had… forget it, I’m too ashamed to say.

    • This salad looks great and right up my alley.

      If you ever go to the Popincourt market just up Bd Richard Lenoir (Tuesdays and Fridays), there is a stall with a couple of friendly ladies from a local farm in the Essonne, just outside Paris. If you’re coming from the Bastille, they’re near the end on the left-hand aisle.

      Their produce can vary from day to day, but just yesterday I got both parsnips and rutabagas there!

    • This looks wonderful. I love that you used thyme in this. I’ve been on a thyme kick this past year once I finally tried it fresh and realized what a savory contrast it provides with root vegetables, almost making them taste sweeter. More likely it’s the caramelization of the sugars in the roasting of the roots, but maybe it’s the contrast that pushes that sensation. Will be trying this very soon. Thank you for this.

    • I have swede (rutabaga) on the hob to make a puree for supper. It is one of my favourite vegetables along with turnips (navet) and leeks. But being English, I am well stocked up with root vegetables so I am looking forward to giving this recipe a try tomorrow with kasha instead of wheat to make it gluten free.
      Delicious, thank you.

    • Roasted root vegetables are the best, aren’t they? I think it’s amazing how a little time in a hot oven really transforms the flavor, with all that lovely caramelization.

      Curious – is the green in your finished salad photos chopped arugula? That is mentioned as a possible addition at the end of the recipe, but not in the body. Whatever it is, the whole salad looks delicious!

    • Jennifer: I like those women and they have lovely produce, although I don’t get to that market as often as I should. The two women near the middle who sell all those unusual and interesting cheeses are also great.

      Dawn: Yes, it is. I like arugula for it’s spicy bite.

      Barbra: Was it perhaps a wheel of puff pastry filled with almond cream?

    • David,

      Try soaking whole grains in water the night before like you would with beans. It def cuts down cooking time and leaves you with a nicer looking grain. Depending on age and type of grain they will absorb different amounts of liquid, just experiment with it.

    • @Rijk: My dutch is very poor and my Dutch husband is NOT a foodie! But I would start by looking for tarwebes (it’s mentioned in this recipe? http://translate.joyofbaking.com/nl/muffins/PumpkinMuffins.html). My husband also thought it might be referred to as tarwekiemen by some people but I THINK that may be wheat germ instead.

    • This looks wonderful! I’m always looking for good wheat berry recipes, and they are difficult to find. If anyone has links to good ones, I’d love to have them. :)

    • I think your herb garden looks just lovely!

    • I love Farro, was eating it once a week in various forms last winter in Italy. Has such an earthy nuttiness that I loved. Favorite dish I made was a rabbit stew with some farro thrown in to adsorb some of the excess jus… ooooohhhhh yes!

    • Can anyone explain why farro is so expensive? Maybe it’s that once you get outside the big cities the grocers take you for what they can?

    • I am trying to get your book Room for dessert, but is it is not available at Amazon, ($77 for an used one is a bit too much). Do you know if they are going to reprint it, or are you planning a new edition?
      It is a great book, the recipes are outstanding and excellent pictures. It is a classic one to keep in a collection, and I want to get one for my daughter. thks,

    • Gosh I used to make farro (that’s what we called wheat berries) all the time for family meal when I worked in kitchens. It takes on other flavors so well.

    • This looks delicious.

      I love roasted root vegetables, especially parsnips.

      Thanks for adding in gluten free alternatives. I really appreciate that – both because it makes things easier, and because it makes me feel more included!

    • Beautiful!

      This looks simply delicious. Thanks for the recipe. The dried cherries sound like an yummy, tart treat. Wheat berry salad and wine? Sounds perfect!

    • Um… how big are your thumbs?

    • Looks delicious. I can’t ever pass up a recipe with roasted vegetables.

    • I think a really nice balsamic or balsamic reduction would bring these items together nicely.

    • andrea: I would imagine in America, farro is more expensive because it’s imported from Italy and there’s taxes and customs on imports. (Oddly, it’s more expensive here in France than it is in America.) Someone mentioned Trader Joes carried farro, but I often use wheat berries, which are very inexpensive and can be found in more natural food stores.

      Ronica: My thumb is 6 cm long, when measured from tip to tail.

      Jane: Some folks reported that they found copies of Room for Dessert at reasonable prices so I did a search on Google shopping and did see a copy that was in the $30 range.

      My upcoming book, Ready for Dessert is a compilation of my all-time favorite dessert recipes, including a good many which have been revised and updated from my first two books, as well as a bunch of others. It’s scheduled for release this spring.

    • What a lovely winter recipe! I’m going to give it a try with all the root vegetables I can find here in the Netherlands. Here there’s also not that much choice, but the forgotten veggies (vergeten groente) are slowly becoming more of a trend. Yay! With a little searching I can now get my hands on some parsnip (pastinaak). I’ll probably eat it with quinoa instead of wheat berries.

      @ Rijk: inderdaad, ik kan ook geen goeie vertaling vinden voor “wheat berries”. Tarwebessen is volgens mij geen bestaand Nederlands woord; misschien tarwekiemen? Aangezien het sowieso een tarwevariant is, is bulghur misschien ook een goede vervanger.

      I think us Dutchies are left with the option of rummaging through natural foodstores with David’s picture of wheat berries in our hands, and see what we come up with. Sigh…

    • This looks delicious! :) I always cook farro and things like that in buillon. That way it gets a richer flavour. Beautiul photos, nice post! Thankyou! :)

    • A tip for finding root vegetables in Paris: I used to be a chef at the Rose Bakery (the one on rue des Martyrs) and we used to get in organic parsnips, parsley roots and other fabulous root vegetables all the time. And we were always happy to sell them to the public.

    • What a fabulous way to eat whatever root vegetables are grown in your part of the world. A most versatile, healthy and delicious winter staple, especially for vegetarians. I can’t wait to try making these additions to my plain roasted root veg.

      We are fortunate in having a good supply of organic parsnips, parsley roots, etc. here in Denmark. Perhaps my local farmers are also supplying Rose Bakery …

    • This is such a perfect premise for so many winter salads, which I rotate through during the cold months: farro, roasted veg, heap of fresh herbs (crucial), and, in my kitchen anyway, a good toss of toasted nuts AND good salty cheese (feta, ricotta salata, chevre). So, so good. *Molly

    • I have made wheat berry and veggie salads for lunch before, because they’re so easy to pack in a Tupperware and take to the office. I’ve never tried with roasted veggies, though, and it sounds like a perfect way to make this salad seasonably in the winter months. Must try this soon!

    • After the holidays it is so wonderful to know that I can still eat healthfully. I made this for dinner last night with butternut squash and dates and it was wonderful! I’ll be eating some of the leftovers for luch and I can’t wait. Might add some goat cheese next time.

    • David,

      I am a newcomer to your blog. I received your book, The Sweet Life In Paris, for Christmas and have been laughing through every page. You have captured the essence of life in France so perfectly! (I have recommended this book to everyone I know…)

      Just wanted to tell you that yesterday, after receiving some fresh lemons off my neighbor’s tree, I was craving a lemon tart. I decided to give one of your recipes a try and was shocked to read of making the tart crust by cooking the butter and oil and then stirring in the flour. But I gave it a shot and it turned out beautifully. The lemon curd filling was delicious. Tart, soft, perfect.

      Keep up the wonderful stories and delicious recipes!

    • Hi David, California Pizza Kitchen serves a salad that reminds me of yours. It’s called Moroccan Chicken Salad. It has romaine lettuce, roasted butternut squash, medjool dates, avocado, toasted almonds, beets, chopped egg, carrots, dried cranberries and red bell peppers. It is tossed with champagne vinaigrette. Oh, and of course, the chicken. What stands out when you eat it is the squash, dates and beets.
      It’s pretty good. Yeah, some salty cheese would be good in this.

    • That looks so wonderful (and healthy). I will make it this week-end.

    • Haven’t tried this yet, but it looks good. I did make the Israeli couscous with butternut squash and it changed my life as well as the lives of several friends–super yum-ness!

    • David, I promised my kids that we would be eating better with fewer meat meals. So I’ll give this salad a spin. If I fall in love with it (it looks wonderful) may I post it on my website (of course with courtesy to you). Mille mercis de ma part….nadine

    • great!!
      I buy the same root vegetables at Nice the last week.. Now I’m cooking them ;)
      Happy New Year David

    • This looks, as do all your creations/photographs, delicious. I can’t imagine, though, substituting buckwheat groats for wheat berries, especially in France. I live in Poland where one is never far from a buckwheat groat, so this would work here. However, when two French friends were visiting not long ago I introduced them to a jar of uncooked buckwheat groats to which they replied near perfect unison after having taken a sniff “Mon Dieu, mais ca pue!!”. I don’t share their repulsion, but it has taken some years to fully warm to the groat.

    • My first exposure to wheat berries was in college when, for a student project, we put on a Renaissance festival featuring authentic period food. My wheat berry groats didn’t win any awards, but people really were surprised by how good they tasted.

      I have to smirk a bit now, as I watch everyone’s furor over farro. All these ancient grains making a reappearance and changing peoples’ cooking lives. It’s great fun.

    • I made this for supper with pearl barley, which is what I happened to have, and some feta cheese. Didn’t put enough salt in the barley so added some Marmite which did the trick.

      I thought I’d made enough to do us twice….. er, not! Goodness, but it was delicious!

    • Why cook the wheat-berries in salted water? Is this just for flavour, or for texture, or for other reasons?

    • You get the prize for being the first to make me feel like eating root veggies. I’ve been in a winter squash bliss, but now I’m ready to move on.

    • your blog had inspired me
      i will begin with a proyect here in mexico city :D
      about the diferent kind of food we can find in one place well.. in one city :D

      yeah i know that my english is a shet..
      but thanks! for give me that inspiration
      you and other wonderful persons!

    • Great blog an very entertaining! And you’re an aikidoka to lol i took it seems like a life time ago in the late 1970′s to early 80′s in windsor ont from kevin blok an his teacher um kushida in Detroit, Can’t remember his first name he was student of shioda some one talked into going to the murder capital of the world to teach ,his first two months all he taught was front strike first control number one lol the mat had craters in it you stood in your crater an did warm ups then climbed out for group practise i took judo at an early age then shuto rue then aikido with a stint boxing an that training sometimes with my windsor teacher was the hardest thing i have ever done when you left class it was like you were reborn.

      Your blog brought back memories of that i just turned 52 an it seems like it was another person now or something i saw on t.v lol I wish You all the best Pat

    • I just made my favorite breakfast out of bulgur wheat (didn’t realize it was cooked wheat berries until this morning) and quinoa, barley, fennel seeds, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, berries, soy milk — yum!

    • Thanks for this, David – salads like this are my go-to dish for lunch at work. I’ll add this to my repertoire asap!

    • ah the quest for panais! it is a tricky one. i also have a lot of trouble finding kale.

      I’ve never been to Biocoop, but people have recommended it to me. Naturalia, on the other hand, is usually disappointing (but convenient…it is everywhere). there is also le marche bio at Raspail!

    • Hi David, if I say France has less bimbos than the US, would you say that’s probably true? Or maybe amongst French actresses/entertainers vs American actresses/entertainers? How about the number of (fake) blonds in Paris vs London? I think Paris has less? That was the impression I had after I moved to Paris following a couple of years in London.

    • I have been doing alot of root veggies due to the season and that I can pull them out of my garden (when the weather isn’t super icky and they’re under a foot of snow) but I’m starting to get grossed out by that rooty taste…..I should woman up though seriously. I like the wheat berry idea.

    • The looks great, and the photographs are beautiful!

    • Made this tonight in chilly 12 degrees in Chicago burbs. It is WONDERFUL, took your suggestions and added mushrooms, lemon zest, juice, and arugula. One of our all time favorites, will repeat and repeat. Thank you Daveed!

    • I was reading through this post, thinking I would add this to my list to make ‘one of these days’ and then I saw the dried cherries. Oh…my… it just went up to ‘real soon’… like I’m just about to make my shopping list for next week and root veggies and wheat berries are gonna be on it! (And if I add the feta, I think my kids might even eat it.)

      Thanks!

    • I made a huge batch of this a few nights ago – some for us and some for my husbands brother and wife who just had a baby boy. And it was very heartwarming and comforting – just right for the chilly, scandinavian winter weather.

      But what I really like about this dish is how versatile it is. As I wrote, I made a huge batch – on day one I added loads of arugula, on day two I served it with nuts, nuts and nuts. And I’m counting on adding mushrooms this evening. And while, basically, the roots are still roots, the texture and the flavour of the salad is so easy to change. It doesn’t really feel like eating the same thing three evenings in a row.

      This recipe is definitely on I’ll hang onto. Tank you!

    • David doing natural food recipes???

      I’ve died and gone to Heaven!!!!!

    • My french husband reckons that parsnips are generally just used for animal fodder in la belle france. The humans are missing out, I reckon!

    • David,

      Just been recently introduced to your blog by a francophile friend of mine and I have to say it is wonderful. Thanks for your insight, musings and of course your recipes. I just tried this wheat berry recipe (adding carrots and sweet potato) and it was great. I felt gourmet and very healthful at the same time (is that an oxymoron?). For the main ingredient, my local supermarket only had something called ‘soft wheat’. These kernels sort of looked like your farro picture so I used them and the results were very good. A definite “keeper” recipe. Thanks.

    • David,

      Just been recently introduced to your blog by a francophile friend of mine and I have to say it is wonderful. Thanks for your insight, musings and of course your recipes. I just tried this wheat berry recipe (adding carrots and sweet potato) and it was great. I felt gourmet and very healthful at the same time (is that an oxymoron?). For the main ingredient, my local supermarket only had something called ‘soft wheat’. These kernels sort of looked like your farro picture so I used them and the results were very good. A definite “keeper” recipe. Thanks.

    • Thank you for this recipe! I made it over the weekend, with a few additions, and it was great.

    • Hi David,

      Having read your blog for over a year now, I finally decided to take the plunge, and
      try this recipe out. It was fantastic! I have to admit, you got me to eat turnips, which
      has been the only vegetable I just could not get to like so far! I was a bit hesitant
      trying out the wheat berries as well, mostly because I wasn’t sure if my husband
      would like them. What do you know – he actually made it a point to ask me “what
      was the grain thing?”, and when told, remarked – “these are really nice – you should
      cook these more often”.

      Thanks for such a nice recipe, and for your wonderful blog – it is a visual as well as a
      culinary treat!

    • This recipe is just wonderful. I made it and blogged about it tonight!

      http://joeandbetsy.com/2010/01/14/day-twenty-six/

    • about the white pepper…
      I was surprised to see that it had been re-discovered having been overshadowed by black pepper. Must be my age. When I was a girl living on a farm in Australia, there was only one pepper and that was white. We did have pepper trees and the pink skinned berries tasted peppery, not that my mother used them; I just tried everything that looked edible.
      Anyhow, I have always used white pepper for more subtle dishes like boiled or scrambled eggs, risotto and, indeed, root vegetables. Perhaps it is a rule that pale coloured foods are best with paler pepper? Now middle aged and living deep in the French countryside, I have discovered ‘mélange de 5 baies’ in the supermarket: black, white, green and pink peppers, coriander and allspice. For multi-coloured foods? In any case, I now have 3 pepper grinders.

      Great site, by the way!

    • Oops!
      White pepper comment is meant for the celery root soup recipe. Sorry!

    • This was my first time cooking wheat berries as well as roasting root veggies and I’m so glad I did!! The roasting really did concentrate the flavors and the thyme was an excellent addition. Thank you!

    • Made this tonight with spelt (farro-I’ve never seen “wheatberries” here in Belgium), and using pumpkin, parsnips, turnips and carrots. Definitely needed the juice of a lemon, which I added. Really nice, really chewy !

    • Your blog makes me so happy. I LoVE it! Thanks for all the great writing on Paris and the food! = )

    • I made this over the weekend and it was delicious. I cooked the farro and added meyer lemon juice and olive oil. We had parsnips, sunchokes, carrots and brussels sprouts and it worked out well. At the end we drizzled with walnut oil and it was perfect. So simple but so good!

    • Pop over the channel for the MOST delicious parsnips in abundance in England! (especially roasted with a teeny bit of maple syrup!)

    • I just made this for a party and it was a huge hit. I punched up the dressing with tangerine and lemon juice, put the chopped arugula on top (just for presentation), and used brussel sprouts, celery root, butternut squash, carrot and parsnips. I gave everyone who asked about the recipe the link to the site.
      Many thanks

    • Hey David, The salad is good with garlic fried tempeh. Is this a way to reach you? Julie

    • I made this this weekend with sweet potatoes and parsnips and dried cranberries. I didn’t have any thyme, but I have an abundance of flat leaf parsley. It was great: sweet, tart, chewy, fresh, with enough oil to be filling. Enjoying it as a sack lunch this week. This recipe is on my short-list of recipes good enough to bring to a potluck. Thank you.

    • David, this looks delicious!
      A friend just gave me a bag of Umbrian farro. I’ve never used farro, and was determined to find a fabulous recipe. This shall be it! I definitely have to use parsnip and probably acorn squash. Thanks for all the beautiful recipes and pictures.