Balsamic Potato Salad with Fresh Basil, Cherry Tomatoes and Wheat Berries

Here in Portland, Oregon, we are steps away from Bob's Red Mill, the iconic natural foods company!  I love to go to their restaurant in Milwaukie, Oregon, and shop at the Bob's Red Mill Store.  Before moving here, I was a big fan of the brand, but that has elevated to HUGE fan.  Bob's only uses non-GMO grains, is an employee-owned company, and has mass produced high quality whole foods and natural products for every diet and taste.  Bob's Red Mill isn't sponsoring me, but using their products has helped spark my creativity and influenced me to eat a larger variety of whole grains.

And one of the whole grains that I am loving on the most is wheat berries.  Wow.  I make a huge pot of them at the beginning of the week, and then, work them into, at least, one meal a day.  So good on salads, in curries, as a substitute for rice and in soup!  They have a really nice slightly chewy texture.  Their flavor is subtle, and compliments most meals.  And they are loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.

Wheat berries can take up to 60 minutes to cook, but if you soak them overnight, they only take 30 minutes to cook.  I recommend allowing the wheat berries and potatoes to completely cool before putting this recipe together; otherwise, the heat coming off of them will wilt the basil and arugula.  Once the salad is assembled, it should be served immediately.  Over time, the basil and arugula will lose their crispness.  

This balsamic potato salad is summer--fresh basil, ripe cherry tomatoes, and crisp arugula.  The wheat berries add a hearty edge to an otherwise pedestrian salad.  All together, it is easy to make, and so delicious.  It works well as a side dish or as a hearty whole grain vegan lunch!

Balsamic Potato Salad with Fresh Basil, Cherry Tomatoes and Wheat Berries

Balsamic Potato Salad with Fresh Basil, Cherry Tomatoes and Wheat Berries

Balsamic Dressing:

3 garlic cloves, chopped

⅓ cup olive oil

3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 tsp dijon mustard

1 Tbsp lemon juice

Salt

Black pepper

Potato Salad:

5 large red potatoes, boiled, cooled and cubed

2 cups cooked wheat berries, completely cooled

1 cup fresh basil, torn

1 cup fresh arugula

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1. In a small skillet, add garlic and olive oil over high heat.  When it just starts to sizzle, turn it all the way to low.  Allow the garlic to infuse the oil with it's flavor, but do not brown or burn the garlic (allowing it to sizzle for about 1-2 minutes).  

2.  Add the oil to a large, glass or metal mixing bowl.  Add the rest of the ingredients listed under "Balsamic Dressing" to the mixing bowl, and whisk until well combined.  Add everything listed under "Potato Salad" to the large mixing bowl.  Combine.  Taste, and adjust seasonings, if needed.  Serve immediately.

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