Wheat Berries with Kale and Charred Onion

This weekend marked the unofficial end to the Summer; the pools are closed and kids are headed back to school.  While the warm weather in Washington still feels as if we’re smack in the middle of summer, we will slowly ease into Fall, as the leaves change colors and the sweaters are put back into the clothes rotation.


I made this dish this Summer and found it to be perfect to stand on it’s own as a light supper.  It’s would also be nice as a side dish and great for this time of year when kale is still available.  The wheat berry is a whole grain and an excellent source of dietary fiber. Since it isn’t as highly processed as wheat, with the germ and grass still intact, the nutrients are left untouched and provide folic acid, protein, B-complex vitamins and vitamin E. The dark green leafy kale is high in Vitamin A, making this dish full of nutrients!

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups wheat berries
  • 2 medium onions, halved, divided
  • 5 sprigs thyme
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt plus more
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch kale, stemmed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (about 8 packed cups)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • ingredient info:

    Wheat berries, also called hard wheat, are available at most natural foods stores.  I purchased mine from Whole Foods, but you can also order them online if they aren’t available in your area.

Preparation

  • Combine wheat berries, 1 onion half, thyme sprigs, and 1 Tbsp. salt in a large saucepan; add water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until wheat berries are just tender but still firm to the bite, about 35 minutes. Drain; discard onion and thyme. Place wheat berries in a large bowl; let cool.
  • Cut remaining 3 onion halves crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in a large cast-iron or other heavy skillet over medium-high heat; add onions. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are charred in spots, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl with wheat berries. Add 1 Tbsp. oil to same skillet. Working in 3 batches, add kale and cook, tossing occasionally, sprinkling with salt and pepper, and adding oil as needed between batches, until charred in spots, about 1 minute per batch. Add to bowl. Drizzle with lemon juice and any remaining oil; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
    (Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit)

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