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Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Beets and Chèvre

Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Beets and Chèvre

Leigh Belanger
This mix of textures and flavors is just what we want in the middle of winter: Wheat berries and beets are hearty and grounding, orange and chèvre bring bright acidity, and walnuts add a toasty crunch.
Servings 4


  • 3 medium beets trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon plus 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt to taste
  • 1 cup wheat berries soaked overnight in water
  • 2 navel oranges
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • ⅓ cup walnuts toasted, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 ounces chèvre crumbled


  • Heat oven to 375°F and place beets in a baking dish. Fill dish with a ½ inch of water. Add 1 teaspoon oil and a pinch of salt, tossing to coat. Cover with foil, and roast until tender, 50 to 60 minutes (beets are done when they can be pierced easily with the tip of a paring knife). Remove from oven and let cool.
  • While beets are roasting, bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add wheat berries, reduce heat to medium, and simmer for 50 to 60 minutes, until wheat berries are tender. Drain, and spread on a baking sheet to cool. Press paper towels over wheat berries to absorb any extra moisture.
  • Peel beets, chop into ½-inch cubes, and place in a large bowl. Add wheat berries and remaining oil, and toss to combine.
  • Using a knife, remove the peel and pith from 1 orange. Trim a slice off the top and bottom and set the orange on a flat end. Working along the curves of the orange segments, slice the fruit away from the membrane, and remove the fruit slices. Cut slices into 1-inch pieces, and add to the bowl.
  • Zest the second orange, and finely mince the zest. Add zest to bowl with 1 tablespoon of juice from the second orange, vinegar, red pepper flakes, walnuts, and parsley. Gently toss to combine.
  • Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed. Plate salad, and sprinkle each serving with cheese. Serve.

Leigh Belanger

Leigh Belanger is culture's former food editor. She's been a food writer, editor, and project manager for over a decade— serving as program director for Chefs Collaborative and contributing to local newspapers and magazines. Her first book, The Boston Homegrown Cookbook, was published in 2012. She lives and cooks in Boston with her family.