Wheat Berries with Roasted Squash

It’s true. Once in a while I make something besides cookies, cake, brownies, etc.Wheat Berries and SquashI would like you to believe I live on nothing but sweet treats and chocolate but the truth is I cook regular savory food too. Daily in fact. I’ve even come to love certain kinds of squash.

Squish squash, as Tim calls it. My new-found love of squash has me making all sorts of things. Plain old roasted squash, squash in grain dishes like this one, even spaghetti squash as a pasta substitute.

Squish SquashI still can’t wrap my head around mashed squash with marshmallows on it and also butternut squash has proven to be one squash I just don’t like. I have to draw the line somewhere.

Lumped in with my hate of all things squash was my hate of sweet potatoes. So you might be surprised to know I ate baked sweet potato with dinner tonight. Ahhh, growth. It’s always nice to grow as an adult.

Yum!Grains like these wheat berries are so satisfying. Chewy and dense and filling. I love them. I could eat the wheat berries alone but mix in a bit of feta and olive and onion and squash. . . .YUM!

Wheat berries do take a long time to cook. I usually make them the day before I want to make this. Sometimes I peel and dice the squash the day before, too. I find preparing a squash to roast very labor intensive so doing the squash prep the day before makes dinner prep fast the next day. You can cube it up and stick it in a zip top bag in the fridge for a few days before cooking it.

I love olives.The feta and olives in this add a little extra salty bite. A good contrast to the squash. I just use a little. Feel free to use more to your taste.

Fall!Basically this is fall in a dish for me. It’s hearty and warming plus it’s a nice orange color.

Don’t worry. . I have sweets planned for you next week. No more of this healthy crap. I’ll keep that to myself again for a while.

Wheat Berries with Roasted Squash

3/4 cup red hard winter wheat (wheat berries)

2 cups water

1/2 tsp salt

1 tsp + 1 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups cubed winter squash of your choice. I prefer Kabocha squash or Buttercup

1/2 cup red onion, diced

1/4 cup crumbled feta

12 calamata olives, chopped

Juice of half a lemon

Sprig of fresh thyme, stems removed

More salt to taste if needed.

In a medium saucepan bring the water and wheat berries to a boil. Put a lid on the pan and turn down to a simmer for 45 minutes. In the meantime peel and cube your squash.

(At this point you can either go ahead and roast the squash or, if you are making the wheat berries for later use you can put it in the fridge and roast at a later time.)

Preheat the oven the 400 degrees. Toss the squash with a tiny bit of oil. Spread on a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes or until the squash is getting soft and looks a little caramelized. Remove pan from oven and set aside.

After the wheat berries have cooked, drain the remaining water, toss with 1 tsp olive oil and 1/2 tsp salt and set aside.

In sauce pan, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and saute the red onion & thyme until soft. Add the onion mixture to the wheat berries. Toss. Add the feta, olive, lemon juice and roasted squash. Toss to combine. Add more salt if desired. Serve immediately.

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