Recipe: Merry Christmas, Wheatberry Salad




After weeks of baking, I woke this morning craving something healthy. Perhaps it was the few pounds I put back on, after losing 15 just before Thanksgiving. Perhaps it was the email from my husband’s boss saying, “You’ll be the death of me,” after sending Nigella’s Snow-Flecked Brownies to the office. Or perhaps it was thoughts of 2008 as I now plan our New Year’s Day menu, always vowing to cook a super healthy menu.

I’m a bit superstitious. I believe – like some other superstitious folk out there – you know who you are – that whatever you eat and do on New Year’s Day is a signifier or metaphor for how the following 365 days will unfold. Eat bad food and sit in front of the TV all day, and you’ll be a couch potato all year. Eat good food and take a long walk, and you’ll be healthier and successful in whatever is important to you. Of course, each year is different and sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t. But I try to start the year right. In this way, the New Year’s Day meal is almost a wish for prosperity for me and my loved ones.

Where am I going with this? Well, straight to my impromptu recipe for today – Merry Christmas, Wheatberry Salad. I had my heart set on healthy food and immediately whipped up (or cooked for an hour) a big batch of wheatberries, whole wheat kernels that have yet to be milled or polished in any way. They are healthy since all the goodness hasn’t been stripped away yet, but tend to need a little extra deliciousness added to make them really yummy. Heidi at 101 Cookbooks introduced them to me years ago via her web site and again in her book, Super Natural Cooking.

Today, I wanted to create a Christmas-inspired salad so rummaged through my fridge for anything red and green. The wheatberries were thus tossed with dried cranberries, fresh pomegranate seeds, chopped scallions and the whole leaves from fresh cilantro. I doused the mixture with some very good extra virgin olive oil (my favorite brand is Frantoia), freshly-cracked black pepper and sea salt. As I stirred the yummy salad, I looked up and outside my kitchen windows and remembered all that snow still coming down in Boston. Snow? Feta cheese? Aha! I had some very nice crumbled feta in the fridge, and sprinkled that in as well.

Most people have wheatberry salads in the Summer, and I love them during those warm months. But today, I wanted to tilt my hat to the upcoming new year, to lots of health and prosperity, to you and your family. Enjoy!


Eat Boutique was an award-winning shop and story-driven recipe site created by Maggie Battista – an author, business guide and alignment seeker. After hosting retail markets for 25,000+ guests, Maggie now supports entrepreneurs as they create values-based businesses through We Are Magic StudioFollow Maggie Battista on Instagram.