Wheat Berry Salad with Pickled Watermelon Radish and Honey Basil Vinaigrette / by Alexa Arnold


Model yourself after plants: head toward the light, drink a lot of water, get dirty each day. 
- Brian Chippendale

Wheat Berry Salad with Pickled Watermelon Radish and Honey Basil Vinaigrette 

As the weather starts to warm up, I'm craving meals filled with leafy greens and crunchy, fresh vegetables. This week that means a simple salad and some pickled watermelon radishes, before they disappear from the markets until next year. Pickled watermelon radish gives this salad a punch of flavor that's balanced so nicely with the sweetness of the honey basil vinaigrette. I added a spoonful of wheat berries because I'm still not ready to say goodbye to hearty salads, but feel free to omit if you're looking for something lighter. 

For the dressing:
> 1 bunch basil
> 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
> 1/2 cup olive oil
> 1/2 cup honey
For the salad:
> 1 cup dry wheat berries
> 2 cups water
> 2 ounces mixed greens (I used sorrel and arugula microgreens)
> 8 cherry tomatoes
Pickling ingredients:
> 1 large watermelon radish
> 1/2 cup distilled vinegar
> 3/4 cup water
> 1 teaspoon sugar
> 1 teaspoon salt
> 1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1. To prepare the dressing, thinly chop the basil and place in a jar. Add all other ingredients and give the jar a couple of firm shakes until all of its contents have mixed together. Set aside while you prepare the salad.
2. Using a mandolin or sharp knife, thinly slice the watermelon radish into disks or strips and set aside in a canning jar. In a nonreactive pot, boil the vinegar, 1/2 cup water, sugar, salt and mustard seeds until the sugar and salt has dissolved. Turn off the heat, add 1/4 cup cold water, and let cool. Once cooled, pour the vinegar mixture into the jar, and place in the fridge for 1 hour or more. The radishes will have a stronger pickled flavor the longer they sit.
3. Wash and rinse the wheat berries and place them in a pot with 2 cups water and a little salt. Cook over medium heat until the berries have absorbed all of the liquid, adding a little more water as needed. Set aside to cool.
4. Combine the cooked emmer berries, greens, tomatoes and radishes in a large bowl and mix. Pour a generous amount of dressing into the bowl and mix some more before serving.