Wheat Berry Harvest Salad is an enticing medley of flavourful roasted vegetables and tender wheat berries. Together, with a mouth-watering maple Dijon vinaigrette, this fall harvest salad makes a satisfying vegan main dish or side served with roasted meats.
Type ‘salad’ in the search bar of this blog and you’ll find that there is a salad for every season. For Spring, it’s Shaved Asparagus Salad featuring the year’s first tender greens and sweet raw asparagus. Salads like Pesto Tortellini Pasta Salad are easy to throw together and designed to last longer in the summer heat.
Disclosure: This post is part of a partnership with Life’s Simple Ingredient. All opinions and experiences are my own.
Wheat Berry Harvest Salad
This Harvest Salad is the perfect salad for those who want to hold onto summer for just a little longer. It celebrates the bounty of the season; from vast fields of golden durum wheat to earthy root vegetables plucked from the cool earth and new crop apples from the orchard.
At this time of year, there are still greens and herbs to be found. They add a fresh elegance and hold the salad in place seasonally, separating it from a winter root vegetable salad.
It is said that we eat with our eyes and one glance at this salad holds true to the saying. However, I always say beauty is in the beet holder. Luckily, this delicious salad contains both beauty and beets…and tastes as good as it looks!
Ingredients for Wheat Berry Harvest Salad
This Harvest Salad features new crop root vegetables and apples with that seasonal sweetness which tends to disappear during winter storage. Brussels sprouts come into season while greens and herbs are still good for eating.
- Durum Wheat
- Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet Potatoes
- Golden Beets
- Purple Beets
- Red Onion
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- Dijon Mustard
- Maple Syrup
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
While Brussels sprouts can be a divisive topic, I highly recommend not leaving them out of this recipe. You’ll find these cruciferous vegetables become sweeter with extended roasting time. Choose Brussels sprouts that are small, tight, and without blemish.
Sweet potatoes also roast really well and add a beautiful, brilliant orange hue (as well as sweetness) to the salad. If you’d prefer to leave them out, you can use regular potatoes, roasted butternut squash, or increase the number of beets as a replacement.
It isn’t necessary to use two varieties of beets but doing so adds visual interest to this harvest salad. Since they both taste the same, feel free use all golden or all purple beets instead. If you’re feeling fancy use Chioggia, (also known as Candy Cane), beets if you have them.
You can add any green to this salad recipe or omit them if you prefer. Fresh sorrel adds beautiful bright citrus notes, while massaged kale and baby spinach leaves add earthiness. If you skip the greens, I highly recommend doubling up on the Italian parsley.
I love the flavour of new crop Honeycrisp apples in the fall and add them to any recipe I can. To keep them from oxidizing and turning brown, coat them in the lemon juice then save it to use later in the vinaigrette.
Ingredients for Apple Cider Dijon Vinaigrette
The ingredients in the vinaigrette also reflect the season. It contains apple cider vinegar with Dijon mustard, lemon juice and a little maple syrup for sweetness. This vinaigrette is bright and crisp just like the idyllic fall day.
What are Wheat Berries?
Wheat berries are essentially wheat kernels with the inedible outer husk removed. The kernel is considered a ‘whole grain’ as it is unprocessed and still contains the bran, the germ and the endosperm. Wheat berries can be further processed into flour or cooked whole, as they are in this Harvest Salad recipe.
You can buy wheat berries in many grocery store rice or grain aisles, or in the bulk/organic section. Other places to look are the international aisle (close to the freekeh and bulgur) or at a health food store.
Pro tip: Sometimes there is a price difference between ‘wheat berries’ and ‘durum wheat’ even though they are the same thing. It is usually cheaper to buy bulk durum wheat than a package of wheat berries. Plus, you can buy the exact amount you need when you buy from the bulk food section.
How to Make a Harvest Salad
Cook the Wheat Berries
Place the durum wheat berries in a small saucepan and pour in 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 45-60 minutes. When the wheat berries are soft and chewy, remove from heat (drain if needed) and allow to cool to room temperature.
The simmering time may vary according to the initial moisture present in the grain. If the wheat has been stored for a longer time, it may have dried out and will take longer to soften. Test the wheat berries after 45 minutes of cooking to determine if they need more time. Add more water as needed during longer cooking times.
Roast the Vegetables
Roasting does something magical to cruciferous and root vegetables. Direct and prolonged contact with a hot dark surface caramelizes their sugars and mellows their entire flavour.
Preheat the oven to 375 F. To prepare the vegetables for roasting, trim the ends off the Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Place them in a large bowl then prepare the sweet potatoes similarly. Repeat with the golden beets and purple beets. Finally, slice the onion half into four equal wedges.
Next, place all the vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle them with olive oil and maple syrup and season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables.
Arrange the vegetables on a roasting pan so that they have lots of space. This will allow the hot air to circulate and allow for more even cooking. Ensure they have at least one large flat side contacting the roasting pan. Roast in a 375 F oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Caramelize the vegetables according to your preference. For a light golden colour, roast for less time than the recommended 30 minutes (which produces very dark caramelization). Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Dice the apples and coat them in lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Reserve the lemon juice.
How to Make Apple Cider Dijon Vinaigrette
There are two ways to make a vinaigrette: The first being the old school ‘cheffy’ way of mixing the ingredients in a bowl and whisking while slowly pouring in the olive oil. The second is by shaking all the ingredients together in a small jar with a lid. I find the second method much easier and less likely to create a giant mess.
To make the apple cider vinaigrette, place the olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice Dijon mustard, salt and pepper (to taste) in a small jar. Screw the lid on tight and shake vigorously until the vinaigrette emulsifies.
Emulsification is the suspension of tiny oil droplets in a mixture. In the case of vinaigrette, these minute droplets are surrounded by ‘water’ or, more accurately, lemon juice and apple cider vinegar.
The oil in water emulsion is then stabilized by the solids (emulgents) in the mustard which keeps salad dressings from separating for a period.
Putting It All Together
You can serve this Harvest Salad in a large serving bowl or arranged on a serving platter.
Place the roasted veggies back in the large bowl and drizzle them with 1/3 of the vinaigrette. Toss to coat. Then, mix the rest of the vinaigrette into the wheat berries.
Add the greens, wheat berries and roasted veggies to a salad bowl. Toss to combine the veggies and greens among the wheat berries. Garnish with Italian parsley.
If using a platter to serve the salad, arrange roasted vegetables overtop the wheat berries and greens. Garnish with Italian parsley. Other toppings that would be delicious on this salad include crumbled feta cheese or goat cheese, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds or candied pecans.
How to Store Leftover Harvest Salad
I hope you love this salad as much as I do because this recipe makes six servings. Luckily, it’s one of those salads that tastes better even after a few days in the fridge.
This makes it a great ‘meal prep’ salad because you can portion it out for weekday lunches or make it a day or two before holiday meals or dinner parties.
Store the salad in a large container with a lid in the refrigerator for up to five days. This salad does not freeze well.
If you make this Wheat Berry Harvest Salad recipe, please be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Pinterest for my latest recipes. Also, if you do make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram, I’d love to see what you guys are making! Thank you so much for reading my blog.
- 1 cup durum wheat
- 3 cups water*
- 4 Brussels sprouts
- 3 small red beets
- 3 small golden beets
- 1/2 large red onion
- 2 small sweet potatoes
- 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 Tablespoon maple syrup
- 2 cups fresh greens
- 1/3 cup fresh Italian parsley; chopped
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- pepper to taste
- Place the durum wheat berries in a small saucepan and pour in 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer gently for 45-60 minutes*.
- Once the wheat berries are soft and chewy, remove from heat (and drain if needed) and allow to cool to room temperature.
- While the wheat berries are simmering, preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Trim the tends off the Brussels sprouts and slice them in half. Place in a large bowl.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them to be a size similar as the halved Brussels sprouts. Do the same with the golden beets and purple beets.
- Slice the onion half into four equal wedges.
- Add all the vegetables to the large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat all the vegetables.
- Arrange the vegetables on a roasting pan so that they have lots of space.
- Roast in a 375 F oven for 30 minutes, flipping halfway through.
- When the vegetables become caramelized, they are done. Remove from the oven and allow to cool to room temperature.
- Dice the apples and coat them in lemon juice to prevent discolouration. Reserve the lemon juice.
FOR THE VINAIGRETTE
- Place the olive oil, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper (to taste) in a small jar. Screw the lid on tight and shake vigorously until the vinaigrette is emulsified.
FINISHING THE SALAD
- Place the roasted veggies back in the same bowl and drizzle 1/3 vinaigrette into the bowl. Toss to coat.
- Mix the rest of the vinaigrette into the wheat berries. Add the greens to the wheat berries and arrange them on a serving platter.
- Arrange roasted vegetables overtop the wheat berries and greens. Garnish with Italian parsley.
*Simmering time for the wheat berries may vary. Test after 45 minutes of cooking to determine if they need more time. Add more water as needed during longer cooking times.
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 350Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 492mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 9gSugar: 12gProtein: 9g
Nutritional calculation was provided by Nutritionix and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator.