It’s been a kooky few months for me. I’ve been really busy cooking and photographing my food for volume two of my revised cookbook, now called Vegetarian Italian: Traditions. The Kindle version of volume one is currently on Amazon, and I’m waiting for the print version to be available.
The thing is, all other cooking has been put on the back burner (no pun intended). I’ve even put off photographing dishes for my next cookbook, just to get volume two of Vegetarian Italian done.
Well, I’m almost there. I actually have one dish left to photograph, and this weekend, I found myself able to cook a little for the fun of it—something I haven’t done in a very long time.
I had some cooked wheatberries in the freezer, left over from a batch I had made a couple of months ago, as well as some black-eyed peas, and decided to use them.
A wheat berry is the entire wheat kernel (except for the hull)–meaning, it has its bran, germ, and endosperm intact. That makes them healthy whole grains. There are several varieties: winter and spring, hard and soft, red and white. Soft wheat is considered to have higher protein and, thus, less gluten. So, if you have wheat sensitivities (as opposed to Celiac disease) and want to use wheat berries, you’re better off using soft wheat.
In the end, I wanted to do something simple but tasty, and this is what I came up with. I hope you like it.
Warm Black-eyed Pea-Spinach Wheat Berry Salad
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced 3 cups cooked wheat berries
½ teaspoon paprika
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 cups cooked, chopped spinach
1 ½ cups cooked black-eyed peas
1 cup peas
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon walnut oil
Heat the oil in a wide pan; add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about one minute.
Sprinkle in the paprika, then immediately add the tomatoes. Stir and sauté 2 or 3 minutes.
Stir in the spinach, black-eyed peas, and peas and sauté another 3 minutes.
Add the wheat berries and peas, mix and continue cooking until heated through. Season with salt and pepper; adjust to your taste.
Transfer to a serving bowl; drizzle walnut oil over the top.