Sacred Species Salad

DRESSING

1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

SALAD

1 cup wheat berries (or freekeh or barley)
1/2 teaspoon salt or to taste
1 orange
1 avocado
1/2 cup dates, chopped
1/2 cup figs, chopped
1/2 cup white or red grapes, halved
1/2 small red onion, chopped fine
1/2 cup olives, chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
2 handfuls of salad greens
5 scallions or green onions, sliced thin
1 cup toasted pecans (or pistachios)
1 cup feta cheese (optional)

1. To make the vinaigrette, stir the balsamic vinegar, the garlic, honey, dry mustard and salt and pepper together in a mixing bowl. Gradually whisk in the olive oil and set aside.

2. Fill a medium saucepan with water and add the wheat berries, freekeh, or barley and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for about an hour or until the grain is al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop them from cooking and transfer to a bowl and let cool completely.

3. Put the greens out on a flat plate, top with wheat berries. Then, using a sharp knife, cut the skin from the tops and bottoms of the oranges and carefully cut between the sections to make pieces that are all orange and add to the salad. Then cut the avocado and add with the dates, figs, grapes, red onions, olives, pomegranate seeds, scallions, pecans, and feta cheese if using. Drizzle some of the dressing over all. Toss and serve immediately.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

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