One of my favorite ways to enhance a dish is with the use of fresh herbs. Not only are they flavorful and healthy, they also add an extra dimension to recipes that make the dish come alive.
I often grow my own and find certain herbs such as basil, mint, chives, rosemary and thyme very easy to tend to. With adequate bright sun and watering when needed, growing your own herbs can be done on a windowsill or in your garden. For those who may not want to try your hand at growing your own, fresh herbs are abundant in every market these days.
WHEAT BERRY SALAD WITH PARSLEY AND MINT
This is a wonderful nutty, chewy grain salad that is delicious served warm or room temperature. You can substitute any of your favorite grains such as quinoa, brown rice, couscous or farro for the wheat berries. Wheat berries can be found in any health food or gourmet store. Developed by Amanda Cushman
1 cup wheat berries
2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons mint, chiffonade
3 scallions, all the white and half the green, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
1 teaspoon cumin
3 tablespoons lemon juice
Place the wheat berries in a small saucepan and cover with cold water by about 3 inches, bring to a boil and then lower the heat to medium, simmer until tender about 20 to 25 minutes. Drain and transfer to a medium bowl.
Combine the feta, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
Add the chopped parsley, mint, scallions, garlic, pine nuts, cumin, lemon juice, remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to the cooked wheat berries. Toss well and adjust seasoning. Transfer the salad to a medium serving bowl and garnish with the marinated feta.
Yield: 4 servings