This great little salad is a recipe that came to me one layer at a time. It actually started with a jar of wheat berries. Wheat berries are unprocessed kernels of wheat. When boiled they are a firm grain that really stands up to other proteins.
Then I realized that I had a lot of wonderful smoked turkey left from Thanksgiving. We actually ate out. But we had ordered a Greenberg Smoked Turkey and snacked on it before and after Thanksgiving lunch. It is a really great turkey, and I wasn’t about to let a morsel of it go to waste. Even if you don’t have any left-over turkey, it is worth a trip to the grocery store. Chicken would be great too, now that I think about it.
|Wheat Berry and Smoked Turkey Salad|| |
- 1 cup uncooked wheat berries
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- 2 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2 Tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 9 ounces of smoked turkey, chopped
- ½ cup dried cherries (or dried cranberries)
- 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 6 or 7 slices of bacon, cooked crisp and chopped
- ¼ head of red cabbage, sliced thinly
- ½ apple, chopped
- Soak the wheat berries in water for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, put the oil, vinegar, sugar, mayonnaise, tarragon, sage, and a pinch of salt in a lidded jar and shake to combine. Put the dressing in the refrigerator to cool while you cook the wheat berries.
- In a medium saucepan, boil water and add a bit of salt. After the 30-minute soaking, drain the wheat berries, and place them in the boiling water. Boil the wheat berries for 40 to 55 minutes. After 40 minutes check the grains and decide how soft you want them to be and continue to cook accordingly. I found that I like them slightly al dente and I stopped cooking them at 40 minutes. Drain the grains in a colander and rinse them with cold water to stop the cooking and cool the grains.
- In a large bowl, mix the grains, turkey, cherries, feta, bacon, cabbage, and apple. Pour on the dressing, starting with about ¾ of it and then adding the remainder, to taste. Chill the salad, and serve.
To make a dish like this I have to get after the turkey quickly. My husband loves making leftover turkey sandwiches. He will meticulously chop up the leftovers and make as many turkey on white sandwiches as the leftovers will allow, with nothing but a bit of mayonnaise and Johnny’s seasoning salt.
While chilling the salad is recommended, you could opt to scarf it down immediately. That’s what I did. I also put spinach in the bottom of the bowl but it was purely cosmetic. If you do so, you might drizzle a little of the excess dressing on it before you put the salad in the bowl. Enjoy!!