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Summer Vegetable Stew with Wheat Berries

Updated February 23, 2016
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A stew of wheat berries may bring to mind anything but summer, but a pot of bright, crisp summer vegetables combined with chewy wheat berries is both refreshing and satisfying.

Other grains you can use: hulled barley, rye berries, and hominy.

4 to 6 servings

CostInexpensive

Easy

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Make Ahead RecipeYes

One Pot MealYes

OccasionCasual Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, halal, healthy, high fiber, kosher, lactose-free, low cholesterol, low saturated fat, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free, vegan, vegetarian

Mealdinner

Taste and Texturechewy, crisp, herby, savory, winey

Type of Dishvegetable

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus oil for drizzling
  • 1 medium leek, including a little green, thinly sliced
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ pound green or wax beans, sliced into 1-inch pieces (1 scant cup)
  • 1 small zucchini, pattypan, or summer squash, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup white wine, vegetable stock , or water
  • 2 cups cooked wheat berries
  • 2 medium ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into wedges
  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil or parsley leaves

Instructions

Put the oil in a large saucepan or deep skillet with a lid over medium-high heat. When hot, add the leek and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the green beans and zucchini and stir to coat with the oil. Stir in the wine.

Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and cook, stirring once or twice, until the vegetables are just starting to get tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Raise the heat a bit and stir in the wheat berries.

3. Cook, stirring frequently, until hot and bubbling, a minute or two. Stir in the tomatoes, season again with salt and pepper, cover, and turn off the heat. After about 5 minutes, add the herb and fluff the stew gently with a fork. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve right away or at room temperature (up to an hour or so later), drizzled with a little more olive oil if you like.

Quick Wheat Berry Stew with Fall Vegetables.

You can make this right through the winter: Instead of the leeks, green beans, and zucchini, use 1 medium yellow onion, a couple of medium turnips or carrots, chopped, and an acorn squash, peeled, seeded, and chopped. Increase the cooking time in Step 2 to 15 to 20 minutes. Instead of the tomatoes, cut several cabbage or Swiss chard leaves into ribbons (enough to make a heaping cup) and stir them into the pot. Cook for about 5 minutes more, then finish with a tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves (or a teaspoon dried) in place of the basil or parsley.

Quick Wheat Berry Stew with Citrus, Dried Fruit, and Nuts.

A nice change of pace: Instead of the leeks, green beans, and zucchini, use 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger, 3 or 4 small Valencia oranges or tangerines (peeled, thinly sliced crosswise, and seeded), and ½ cup dried cranberries or cherries. Instead of the tomatoes, stir ½ cup chopped dried apricots or dates into the pot. Finish with ¼ cup chopped almonds or pistachios in place of the basil or parsley.

Quick Wheat Berry Stew with Spring Vegetables.

A celebration: Instead of the leeks, green beans, and zucchini, use 2 or 3 scallions, snap or snow peas, and a handful of asparagus spears (sliced into 1-inch pieces). Instead of the tomatoes, use ½ cup fresh peas. Finish with fresh chopped fresh mint leaves in place of the basil or parsley.

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