Every weekend I make some elaborate meal that takes me upwards of three hours to prepare. There are two different kind of reactions I get to this:
1) What’s wrong with you? You are crazy!
2) That’s amazing! What did you make?
For anyone who falls into the second category, feel free to keep reading. (For the record, if you fall into category 1, I do this because I LOVE to cook and weekends offer me the very rare chance to really dedicate some solid time to planning, preparing and cooking a meal).
Tonight I made Pan Roasted Cod with Artichokes and Lemon and a Wheatberry Grain Salad with Roasted Vegetables.
It was actually my first time ever using wheatberries. Here’s what I learned about them:
1) “Wheat berry” and “Wheatberry” are both grammatically correct – some people use two words; some use one.
2) Wheatberries are not gluten-free. In fact, they are the opposite of gluten-free. They are the entire wheat kernel minus the hull – they include the bran, germ and the endosperm. If they were ground up, you’d have whole-wheat flour.
3) They take a while to cook – upwards of an hour. (On the plus side, that’s more time for wine when you’re cooking!)
4) They are packed with protein and fiber – one cup of the salad and I was stuffed.
5) A little goes a long way. I purchased less than a pound for $0.98 and it easily will feed us for several meals.
I used a recipe I found in my new issue of Food & Wine for wheat berries with roasted vegetables except I used red winter wheat berries because I couldn’t find the soft kind.
For the fish, I improvised. I had some leftover marinated roman artichokes from Tarry Market so I used the oil to marinate the fish with lemon juice and thyme from the garden and then pan roasted the fish, adding diced artichokes, shallots, and lemon at the end.
Both were delicious and this was a “fast” meal by my standards – all in less than two hours from start to finish. I used my extra free time to enjoy more wine, of course, and begin to think about next weekend’s meal.