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    • LOCAL EATS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA’S CENTRAL VALLEY

    • LOCAL LIBATIONS INCLUDING BEER, WINE, MILK & COFFEE

    • FOOD FOR THOUGHT

    • GARDENING. EVENTS. TRAVEL. SHOPPING. MEET YOUR MAKERS.

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WINTER SONORA SALAD

Photo by Candace Byrne

Here’s a salad that can be served warm, as an untraditional side for the holidays, kept in the fridge to be doled out to visitors, or taken with you on your visits. It’s everything you want it to be (even safe for plane travel!). By simply cooking up grains and vegetables, then tossing them all together with a dressing, you have a meal.

WINTER SONORA SALAD

Course: Salad
Keyword: oranges, wheat berries, winter
Author: Kala Riddle

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Llano Seco Sonora wheat berries soaked overnight
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 sweet onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon ghee or olive oil
  • 4–5 radishes sliced paper thin
  • 4 medjool dates from Lejah Farm ripped lengthwise
  • 1–2 Cara Cara oranges peeled and thinly sliced horizontally
  • 1 cup fresh parsley chopped
  • 1 cup fresh mint chopped
  • ½ cup red walnuts toasted

DRESSING

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated with a microplane
  • 1 teaspoon orange blossom water
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds toasted and crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

  • Drain and rinse the soaked wheat berries. Place in a saucepan with water and broth. Bring to a boil, then add salt. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Simmer the berries about 45 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the grains are chewy but soft.
  • Cook the onion in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-low heat until dark and caramelized. In a large bowl, toss together the cooked spelt, onion, radishes, dates, oranges, parsley, mint, and walnuts. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to coat. The entire salad can be made up to three days in advance.
  • For the dressing: Whisk together everything except the olive oil. Drizzle the olive oil in while whisking to gently emulsify the dressing. This keeps for up to a week in the fridge.

Notes

A different rendition I like includes turmeric roasted caulifl ower, lentils, golden raisins, pecans, and more of a coriander-cinnamon dressing with rice wine vinegar. As the seasons change, this salad can very much adapt.