WINTER WHEAT BERRY SALAD WITH ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES AND FRESH FIGS
3 Cups wheat berries, Farro or Pearl Barley
2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 small butternut squash, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
5 garlic cloves
1/4-1/2 Cup cup olive oil, plus more as needed
1/4-1/2 Cup balsamic vinegar, more as needed
pink salt and pepper, to taste
1 Cup fresh figs, chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
1 Cup toasted pecans, rough chop
1/2 Cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
3/4 Cups dried cranberries
3 green onions, light and dark green portions, chopped
In a large pot over high heat, combine the wheat berries/farro/barley (whatever you find or sub brown rice and quinoa to make gluten freE) with water according to the package instructions. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until tender. Drain, fluff with a fork and place in a large bowl.
meanwhile, preheat the over to 450F (220C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I ended up needing two baking sheets.
Prepare the ingredients as stated above, try to cut them into very similar sized pieces so they cook evenly.
Place the parsnips, carrots, squash, red onion and garlic on the prepared sheet. Toss with 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup vinegar and season with salt and pepper. If you need to add more oil and vinegar so it is evenly coated, then go ahead. Roast, stirring once, until the vegetables are slightly caramelized and tender to a fork, about 25 minutes.
Once complete, peel the roasted garlic, chop into small pieces and add back to the baking sheet.
Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl with the wheat berries. Add in the parsley, figs, cranberries and green onions. stir to combine.
Add more oil and vinegar if the mixture needs more moisture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Serve immediately, or keep covered in the fridge until ready. This gets better the longer it has time to sit and the flavors mend making it a perfect dish to make ahead of time!