The other day I wanted to prepare something with quinoa for dinner. I then remembered that it is almost impossible to get quinoa at the supermarket these days. I had to rethink and explore my pantry for alternatives. While doing this I found a box of wheat berry and I am so happy I did because it made me realise what a tasty and easily cooked grain it is.
Wheat berry, celeriac, carrot, fennel and beluga lentils are the main ingredients in this dish. A pilaf is traditionally made with rice but I find wheat berry to be a great alternative when you want to try something different. Which vegetables to use in the pilaf is depending on season. For this recipe I went for celeriac and carrot since root vegetables are still in season here. With the Pilaf I have added a salad of finely sliced fennel and beluga lentils in a citrus vinaigrette. This dish is delicious, healthy and beautiful to look at. It is easy enough for a weekday and sophisticated enough for a dinner party.
Wheat Berry Pilaf with Fennel & Beluga Lentils
For the Pilaf
- 500 g wheat berry
- 300 g celeriac
- 200 g carrot
- 2 onion
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 200 g parsley
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp soy sauce / tamari
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- 7 dl / 3 cup water
- 1 – 1 1/2 tsp salt (after taste)
For the Salad
- 2 fennel bulb
- 80 g beluga lentils
For the Vinaigrette
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp salt
Salad & Vinaigrette
1. Cook the lentils according to the package and set aside to cool.
2. Remove the stalks from the fennels and cut the fennels in halves. Keep the fronds. Remove the cores and slice the fennels finely lengthwise.
3. Mix all the ingredients, for the vinaigrette, in a small bowl.
4. Put the lentils, fennel and vinaigrette in a bowl and turn it around until everything is well blended.
1. Chop the onion and garlic. Peel and dice the celeriac and carrot.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion in high heat. When it is starting to become golden brown you lower the heat to low-medium and continue to fry a minute or so. Add the garlic, celeriac and carrot. Put the lid on the pan and cook for a few minutes, stirring once in a while.
3. Add the wheat berry, salt (only 1 tsp and more later after taste) and water. Let it cook, on low-medium heat, under lid for about 20 minutes until the wheat berry and vegetables are soft enough. Stir every now and then so it doesn’t burn.
4. When the wheat berry is done you add lemon juice, soy sauce and parsley. If you like it a bit more salty then add more salt or soy sauce.
5. Serve the pilaf with the salad on top. Drizzle a little olive oil over it and add the fennel fronds as garnish. Enjoy!