Wheat berry salad with red fruit

Contributed by Preston Maring, MD

Wheat berry salad with red fruit

I must admit that I have bulk food anxiety. But overcoming it is well worth it. 

It starts when you read a recipe that says you need to rinse whatever the main ingredient is going to be and then carefully sort out the stones. Then you go to the grocery store and start looking at the two to three layers of clear plastic bins along a wall filled with mostly earth tone things.

These bins work differently at each store so it usually takes a while to figure it out. Some have scoops in a recessed compartment, but there’s usually not a scoop by the bin you want. You wonder if there will be adverse effects of using a scoop from another bin. Or there’s a handle you pull down. Don’t test it to see if that’s how your particular bin works without a bag under it. 

Then there are the bags. Some entire cities have banned plastic bags and fine stores for every bag used to help the environment and you are about to use one to tote your healthy bulk food. Scooping offers more control than gravity. The handle ones dispense about two pounds in two seconds. 

Then you have to find the “twisty” and a pen. The pens that have the spiral extension cord attached are usually out of ink. You vow you will remember the four-digit number all the way to the checkout stand, but you don’t and the clerk has to ask the manager. 

Finally, you get home and the fun begins. This wheat berry and red fruit salad is worth it. Wheat berries are whole kernels of wheat with the outer husks removed. They are chewy and nutty. It’s a new texture and flavor I think you will like brought to you straight from "EatingWell in Season: The Farmers' Market Cookbook," which also features the story of Kaiser Permanente's farmers' markets.

Servings: 6


  • 3 cups cooked hard red winter wheat berries
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 large Fuji apple, unpeeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecan halves, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt for cooking the wheat berries and salt and pepper to taste for the salad


  1. Rinse 2 cups of wheat berries and discard the stones (I have never really found a stone in my bulk foods). 
  2. Bring 7 cups of water plus 1 teaspoon of salt to a boil in a heavy saucepan. Add the wheat berries, reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for about an hour, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Drain and rinse. This makes about four cups so you will have some leftovers. 
  4. Combine the orange juice and cranberries in a bowl and let sit for at least 15 minutes. 
  5. Toast the pecan halves in a small skillet over medium heat then coarsely chop them. 
  6. Mix the wheat berries, pecans, and apples in a bowl. Drain the cranberries and reserve the juice for the dressing. Mix in the cranberries. 
  7. Whisk the juice, vinegar, and olive oil together. Season the dressing with salt and pepper then toss with the wheat berry mixture. 
  8. Serve on a bed of greens — arugula is nice here. 

This is a wonderfully sweet/tart dish with unexpected textures. It’s well worth working through the dreaded bulk food anxiety.

Nutrition information (per serving)

  • Calories: 379
  • Total fat: 14 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 392 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 60 g
  • Dietary fiber: 10 g
  • Protein: 9 g