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Mushroom Wheat Berry Salad with Seared Salmon

(recipe, Ivy Manning)


This recipe comes from Ivy Manning's story on healthy eating.


    1. ½ cup (3 ounces) dried wheat berries
    2. 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
    3. 2 large cloves garlic, chopped
    4. ½ small yellow onion, whole
    5. ¾ lb. wild mushrooms
    6. ⅓ cup dry sherry
    7. 1 tsp. cumin
    8. ½ tsp. smoked Spanish paprika
    9. Salt and pepper
    10. ½ cup cilantro, washed well, chopped roughly
    11. 1 lemon
    1. 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
    2. 4 salmon fillets (about 4 ounces each), skin on


    1. There are two ways to cook the wheat berries. You can soak them overnight in plenty of water, then drain and cook them in 4 cups of water for 1½ hours on a gentle simmer (½ cup dried will yield 2 cups cooked). Or you can skip the overnight soak by cooking the wheat berries in a pressure cooker with same amount of water for 30 minutes; let the pressure drop naturally. Drain and leave at room temperature while preparing the rest of the salad.
    2. Clean the mushrooms with a little brush and slice them. Heat the oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat, add the onions, and cook until lightly browned. Add the mushrooms, cumin, and paprika, and sauté until mushrooms begin to release their juices, about three minutes. Make sure that you don't overcrowd the mushrooms or they will sweat, not brown; you may need to add the mushrooms in batches. Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
    3. Deglaze the pan with the sherry; cook until almost all of the liquid has boiled off. Remove from heat and scrape the mushroom mixture into a large serving bowl.
    4. Add the wheat berries, cilantro, juice from half of the lemon, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
    5. Wipe out the sauté pan and put over high heat. Rinse the salmon fillets and pat dry with paper towels. Season salmon with salt and freshly ground pepper. Add vegetable oil to the heated pan, place the salmon pieces in the pan skin side up, and sear over medium-high heat for three minutes. Carefully turn salmon pieces, reduce heat to medium, and continue to cook for two to three minutes, until medium-rare. (Test the fish by inserting a thin knife in the thickest part of the salmon; count to three, then carefully touch the dull side of the knife to your lip. The knife will feel cold if the salmon is still rare, body temperature if medium, and hot if the salmon is well done.)
    6. Remove salmon from pan when done and serve alongside the wheat berry salad, passing the remaining lemon half at the table.