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Gingered Persimmon Whole Grain Salad

BY ELIZABETH BORELLI

Serves 4

 This nutty, chewy and flavorful salad is remarkably easy to prepare.  All of the ingredients cook in the same pot, so it’s just a matter of chopping, steaming and seasoning before you’re good to go.

You may be unfamiliar with high fiber and nutrient-rich heritage grains like nutty farro, earthy spelt or chewy wheat berries.  If you’re new to the wonders of whole grains, you’re in for a pleasant surprise.  You can’t go wrong with any of the suggestions below, simply allow 45 minutes through an hour cook time (whole grains don’t easily overcook), add your favorite veggies and seasonsings, and you can’t go wrong.

Gingered Persimmon Whole Grain Salad Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups farro, spelt or wheat berries, soaked up to overnight, if possible (soaking is recommended but definitely not required!)
  • 1 whole persimmon Fuyu (Fuyugaki), non astringent variety, chopped into ½” pieces
  • 1 1 2 cups zucchini, broccoli, carrot or parsnip, chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (options: choose your own favorite, or use none at all)
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar (or use balsamic in a pinch)
  • 2 tablespoons Bragg’s liquid aminos (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon grated ginger (optional, best combined with rice vinegar and sesame oil)
  • 1 cup arugula, chopped (set aside)

Pour the grain with a pinch of salt, and enough water to cover it by at least 2”, into a medium-sized saucepan with a lid.    Bring to a boil on medium high heat, then turn the heat down to medium, cover and let it simmer for the following times (or until tender):

  • Farro:  30+ minutes
  • Spelt or Wheat berries:  50+ minutes
  • Brown rice: 30-50 minutes, depending on variety

Stir occasionally, until grains become tender ( 5-10 minutes from being done). Don’t worry about overcooking whole grains, cooked heritage grains like wheat berries and spelt can be chewy, but be careful not to overcook rice or Farro, which may cause them to break down.

Once your grain is almost cooked, add persimmon and vegetables, and stir into the pot.  Cover again and cook for 5-10 minutes longer.  When veggies are cooked (onion will be translucent), drain the grain mixture and toss in all of the remaining ingredients except for the arugula.  Pour into a serving dish and toss in arugula right before serving.

Delicious warm or cold!

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