Thursday, August 4, 2011

Wheatberry Tabbouleh with Green Beans and Feta

This Sunday at the Fairmount Neighborhood Farmers Market, you can look forward to fresh produce from SLO Farm and Songbird Farm, including:

Green Beans
Purple Green Beans
Green Cabbage
Flat Leaf Parsley
Baby Lettuce mix
Cherry Tomatoes
Swiss Chard

Linda Castleman from The Salmon People will be back again with delicious fresh and smoked salmon.  

And you can stock up on locally grown and milled beans and grains from the Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project

I've been experimenting with salads made with wheatberries from Camas Country Mill. This is variant of a Middle Eastern tabbouleh salad normally made with bulgar, a grain prepared from wheatberries that are par cooked, dried, and cracked. Following a traditional tabbouleh recipe, I prepared a lemony parsley dressing and tossed in cherry tomatoes, but then I couldn't resist adding in some green beans. Since I was straying away from tradition, I tossed in some cubed feta for richness and toasted almonds for crunch. When mixed together, the final salad was delicious and filling, with a satisfying bite from the whole wheatberries.

Wheatberry Tabbouleh with Green Beans and Feta

1 cup dried wheatberries 
1 bunch parsley
1 lemon
~1/3 cup olive oil
1 pint cherry tomatoes
1/2 lb green beans
1/3 cup almond slivers
~3 ounces feta cheese
salt and pepper

1. Simmer the wheatberries in 2 cups salted water, covered, for about 75-90 minutes until they are soft but still firm. If there's still water left toward the end, remove the top and raise the heat to boil off the liquid. You can cook the wheatberries ahead of time.

2. Prepare a lemony parsley dressing for the salad. Rinse the parsley and put the leaves into a food processor or mini chopper. Use a vegetable peeler to remove the lemon rind, and then juice the lemon. Add the lemon rind, juice, a glug of olive oil (about 1/3 cup), and generous amount of salt and pepper. Process into a runny green paste. Taste for seasonings. Stir into the wheatberries.

3. Trim the stems off the green beans and cook them in salted boiling water until they are bright green but still crunchy, about 4 minutes. If you feel anxious about overcooking, you can plunge them into ice water after they are cooked. Quarter them lengthwise.

4. Toast the almond slivers in a dry skillet or toaster oven for a few minutes until fragrant. 

5. Halve the cherry tomatoes. Dice the feta. Fold the beans, almonds, tomatoes, and feta into the dressed wheatberries. Enjoy.

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