Top | Salads

Wheat Berries and Garbanzos with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

(recipe, Carrie Floyd)

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At a couple of farmers' markets in Portland, Tastebud Farm makes a fantastic lamb sandwich with pita, wheat berries, and greens. I love the wheat-berry salad as much (if not more) than the whole ensemble. That dish inspired this salad, which makes a great main dish served with pita bread. If you like more of a bite to your salads, feel free to substitute red onion for the green onions.


    1. 2 cups uncooked wheat berries
    2. 3 cups cooked garbanzo beans (rinsed if canned)
    3. ½ cup House Vinaigrette (or ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil, the juice of one lemon, and two minced cloves of garlic, combined)
    4. 1 large lemon, zest and juice
    5. ½ cup chopped green onions (with greens)
    6. ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
    7. Salt to taste
    8. 4 cups salad greens
    1. 2 Tbsp. sesame tahini
    2. 2 Tbsp. warm water
    3. 1 garlic clove, minced or pressed
    4. ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
    5. ¾ cup plain low-fat yogurt
    6. Pinch of cayenne pepper
    7. Salt to taste


    1. Make the wheat berries: Soak the wheat berries overnight or do a quick soak: In a large pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Stir in wheat berries, cover, and turn off heat. Allow berries to sit for an hour. To cook, bring water to a boil, turn down to a simmer, and cook until berries are tender, 20 to 30 minutes. To test for tenderness, remove a berry from the pot and, after allowing to cool for a bit, bite into it. It should be neither crunchy nor mushy, but pleasingly soft throughout. Drain and cool wheat berries.
    2. Assemble the salad: In a large bowl, toss together wheat berries, garbanzo beans, vinaigrette, lemon zest and juice, green onions, and chopped parsley. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
    3. Make the lemon-tahini dressing: Whisk together the tahini and warm water in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the garlic, lemon juice, yogurt, and cayenne pepper, and blend until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Set aside.
    4. Serve: Spoon the wheat-berry salad onto a bed of greens and drizzle with the lemon-tahini dressing. To make into a sandwich, stuff salad and greens into split pita bread and drizzle with dressing.