Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad

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John and I eat Mediterranean food at least once a week, often in the form of a hummus snack plate for lunch. It’s so simple, healthy and satisfying, and it’s something we always agree on.

Beyond whipping up hummus and falafel, my Mediterranean/Greek food skills were lacking. It was time for that to change.

A few years ago when we were still living in Portland, I accompanied a friend to a farmers market where I experienced a Greek wheat berry salad that kind of changed my life.

Well, that’s dramatic.

But I remember it was one of the first meals that proved to me you really don’t need meat or gobs of peanut butter to fill you up. The idea to recreate that salad at home stuck with me, and I’m so glad it finally surfaced.

You’re going to love this simple salad. It’s hearty, customizable year-round, and requires just 10 ingredientsincluding the simple Greek dressing.

It all starts with wheat berries – a whole grain that’s nutty with a slight chew and loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals.

Next come roasted onions and leeks, baby tomatoes, kalamata olives, and a 5-ingredient savory Greek dressing.

It all melds together to create a seriously hearty, flavorful Greek salad perfect for lunch, dinner or a snack. The wheat berries provide chew and heartiness, the roasted veggies warm things up and add a comforting touch, and olives and tomatoes keep it light and fresh.

Serve this salad as is or with your favorite add-ins. I enjoyed mine with garlic hummus and pita chips. You could also throw in some fresh greens for more nutrition.

Took me right back to the farmers market where I inhaled my first Mediterranean wheat berry salad out of a paper cup in the summer sun. Good memories. I hope you make this salad and enjoy it much as I did. Cheers!

Mediterranean Wheat Berry Salad

10-ingredient Mediterranean salad with wheat berry, tomato, and roasted leeks and onion. Dressed in a simple homemade Greek dressing. Healthy, light, and incredibly filling. Keep gluten-free by subbing quinoa or another gluten-free grain of choice.
Author Minimalist Baker
Print
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 15minutes
Cook Time 35minutes
Total Time 50minutes
Servings 4
Course Entree, Side, Snack
Cuisine Mediterranean-Inspired, Vegan
Freezer Friendly No
Does it keep? 3-4 Days

Ingredients

Salad:

  • 1pinchsalt
  • 1cupwheat berries*
  • 1cupbaby tomatoes(halved)
  • 1/4cupkalamata olives(halved)
  • 1mediumred onion(sliced)
  • 2largeleeks(green stems removed, thoroughly washed and diced)

Dressing:

  • 1/4cupred wine vinegar
  • 1/4tspeach salt and pepper
  • 1tspdried oregano
  • 3clovesgarlic (minced)
  • 1/2cupgood olive oil

Optional garnishes:

  • Hummus, pine nuts, fresh parsley, pita chips

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 C).
  • Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. Then add salt and wheat berries and reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and continue cook for 25-30 minutes or until tender. They should be chewy but not tough.
  • Drain and add to a large serving bowl. Add 2 tsp olive oil and a pinch of salt for added flavor (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size).
  • Prep leeks and onions, then place on a foil- or parchment-lined baking sheet and toss with 1 Tbsp olive oil and a pinch each salt and pepper (amounts as original recipe is written // adjust if altering batch size). Bake for 23-28 minutes or until tender and golden brown. Toss halfway through for even cooking. Set aside.
  • In the meantime, prepare dressing by combining all ingredients except olive oil in a small mixing bowl. Stream in olive oil as you whisk to emulsify. Otherwise, add all ingredients to a jar and shake vigorously to combine. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.
  • Add tomatoes, olives, roasted leeks and onions to the wheat berries and toss with enough dressing to coat. You’ll likely have leftover dressing.
  • Serves 4 generously (as original recipe is written). Cover and refrigerate to keep for up to several days. The longer it sits and marinates, the more intense the flavor becomes.
  • Additional garnishes might include hummus, pine nuts, parsley and pita chips.

Notes

*Keep gluten-free by subbing quinoa or another gluten-free grain of choice.
*Wheat berry instructions from the Kitchn
*You can sub 1/4 cup fresh oregano, chopped per 1 tsp dried.
*Dressing adapted from Ina Garten
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate.

Nutrition (1 of 4 servings)

Serving: 1gCalories: 251Carbohydrates: 22gProtein: 3.4gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2.5gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 173mgFiber: 2.2gSugar: 4g

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  1. Ruthsays

    Thank you for this marvelous recipe. I made it as written with the addition of some cubed, roasted, winter squash. My family loved it, as did I.

    Reply
      • ElizabethDeesays

        Thank you for a delicious recipe, which gave me a chance to make wheat berries for the first time. It took me quite a bit longer to cook the wheat berries, around 45 minutes, but they came out just right. I’m already looking forward to making this again.

        Reply
        • Support @ Minimalist Bakersays

          Thanks for sharing your experience! We’re so glad you enjoyed it!

          Reply
  2. Spikesays

    I love this dish! I would like to go on the record as saying that this dish is delicious all year long! I do have a confession to make though. I ate all four servings, at one time, and by myself! :D Well, I am quite a bit larger than the average person, so that does help.

    I think I will be making this a couple of times a month, at least! Thank you very much for posting this recipe!

    Reply
    • Support @ Minimalist Bakersays

      We are glad you enjoy this recipe, Spike! Cool name by the way :D

      Reply
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  4. Jensays

    Not only is this salad DELICIOUS (I’ve made it 3 times in 3 weeks!) It’s also a super economical grain salad (at my local health food store quinoa is 6.99/lb, wheat kernels AKA wheat berries: 1.99/lb)
    Thanks for this delicious recipe, even my 7 year old loves it!

    Reply
  5. Sarah @ Seriously Lovelysays

    This looks like it would make a fantastic lunch! Definitely want to try making this!

    Reply
  6. hippymomelizabethsays

    Dana and John, Your recipe looks delicious and I love olives and garlic… I cant wait for all your summer recipes to share with my family… One love you two and– Oregon Im jealous those are my kind of peeps!!! Have a communal, celestial day and night!!! PEACE

    Reply
  7. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Healthsays

    i want to visit portland soon..and wheat berry happens to be one of my favorite grains and using them with Mediterranean flavors, delicious!

    Reply
  8. Isadora @ she likes foodsays

    I could eat Mediterranean food for pretty much every meal, although I might have to mix it up with a few Mexican dishes! I love the idea of piling a bowl full of wheat berries and then topping it with all kinds of delicious ingredients, like tomatoes and kalamata olives! This is the perfect summer salad :)

    Reply
  9. Samina | The Cupcake Confessionsays

    OMG! I am LOVING this salad! So refreshing and filling and so sooooo Summery! LOVE!

    Reply
  10. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugarsays

    I’ve never even tried wheat berry!! I need this in my body.

    Reply
  11. Shikha @ Shikha la modesays

    That’s amazing that you lived in Portland – I’m visiting next month for the first time and can’t wait!

    Reply
  12. Beth @ Eat Within Your Meanssays

    I spy the dearly departed vintage pyrex….sniff, sniff. May you be comforted in your loss.

    I LOVE the idea to roast the onions and leeks. I sometimes shy away from greek salads because of the raw red onion component. I guess I’m like Scott Conant on Chopped in that way. That joke isn’t going to reach everybody.

    Looks gorgeous, lady! And I have everything but the wheat berries, so off the bulk section I go!

    Reply
  13. Becky @ Fun Fresh Feastsays

    This looks so good! We eat Mediterranean food once or twice a week at our house, too, and this gives me something new to try. Plus it will use up those wheat berries I’ve had hanging around the pantry for awhile.

    Reply
  14. Christina @ but i'm hungrysays

    Thank you for such a fantastic-looking wheatberry recipe! Everyone’s all about the quinoa (which I DO love), but I really enjoy wheat berries and I don’t think they get enough press. ;) The texture and flavor is the best! I’m going to try this one soon. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
    • Dana @ Minimalist Bakersays

      Agreed! So pleased to find meals that are meat- and dairy-free that are AMAZINGLY filling and healthy.

      Reply
    • Lindasays

      I love wheat berries. It’s my favorite grain. This salad is good. I added it on top of kale topped it with feta crumbles for a more nutritious lunch. All packed and ready to go.

      Reply
      • Support @ Minimalist Bakersays

        Thanks so much for the lovely review, Linda. We are so glad you enjoy it! Next time, would you mind leaving a rating with your review? It’s super helpful for us and other readers. Thanks so much! Xo

        Reply
  15. Kathysays

    YES! Love the addition of roasted leeks.

    Dana, do you have Ottolenghi’s books Jerusalem or Plenty (which is all vegetarian). I have a feeling you would love them. I’m totally obsessed right now. All about simple fresh ingredients with bold flavour.

    Reply
    • Dana @ Minimalist Bakersays

      Oh I love that you said that! I’ve gawked at Jerusalem in Anthropology (literally for 30 minutes) and nearly bought it but restrained myself! But perhaps I’ll have to consider giving it a go. Thanks Kathy!

      Reply
    • Dana @ Minimalist Bakersays

      Hmm, I wouldn’t think it would freeze well but I’m not sure! If you give it a try, let me know!

      Reply
  16. Anne @aveganadventuresays

    This looks terrific! I used to make wheat berry salads all the time, but haven’t had one in ages. Thanks for the reminder about these little gems!

    Reply
  17. Abigailsays

    Hmmmm a new ingredient! I have never bought wheat berry’s before! I will have to try this!

    Reply
  18. Dominique Belasays

    Looks delish! I hadn’t heard of wheat berry’s, will definitely keep an eye out for them now!

    Reply
  19. Carolinesays

    This looks amazing! I love Mediterranean food, but can do without the heavy falafel sometimes. I can’t wait to try!

    Reply
    • Dana @ Minimalist Bakersays

      Yeah, falafels are amazing BUT can feel very heavy. Be sure to give my baked version a try! (linked in the post)

      Reply