By Carly DeFilippo
As the days grow colder and the holidays approach, we enter a season of culinary indulgence. But sugary, rich foods can leave us feeling less than energized. Fortunately, autumn is an excellent time to enjoy seasonal superfoods, as Chef Instructor James Briscione demonstrated this morning on CBS 2 “In the Kitchen”.
Wheatberries, Chef Briscione explains, are the most wholesome form of wheat, providing fiber, B vitamins and a range of minerals. Pumpkin supplies our bodies with the antioxidant beta-carotene, which can help prevent cancer. Last but not least, kale – one of the world’s most noteworthy health foods – provides vitamins A, C and K; more calcium per calorie than milk; and numerous antioxidants.
In this warm salad, the rich flavors and contrasting textures of these health-giving foods combine to make an ultra-indulgent (but guilt free!) treat.
Roasted Pumpkin, Wheatberry and Kale Salad
1 1/2 cups wheatberries
6 cups salted water
10 oz chopped kale (8 cups)
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more as needed
2 cups diced acorn squash or pumpkin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted
1 garlic clove smashed
pinch red pepper flakes
juice and zest of 1 lemon
¼ cup dried cranberries, chopped
- Rinse the wheatberries well, then combine in a sauce pot with the salted water and place over a medium flame. Bring to a simmer and cook until very tender, about 35 minutes. Strain the cooked wheatberries and spread into a thin layer on a baking sheet to steam dry.
- Toss the kale with 3 tablespoons olive oil and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Spread the kale into a single layer on a baking sheet- use two if necessary- and bake at 300˚F until crisp. Set aside to cool.
- Turn the oven to 400˚F. Toss the pumpkin with olive oil, salt and coriander. Roast the pumpkin in the oven until lightly browned and tender, about 12-15 minutes.
- Place a large saute pan over high heat. Pour in enough olive oil to completely cover the bottom of the pan. Add the garlic clove and pepper flakes to oil. When the garlic begins to brown, add all of the wheatberries and stir until warmed through. Scatter the pumpkin and pecans over the wheatberries and toss or stir to mix well. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and fold in the baked kale, lemon juice and zest and cranberries. Serve warm.