Chewy wheat berries and lemony yogurt make for a surprisingly satisfying, yet simple to prepare dish (it only has four ingredients!).
This salad can be served as one of many small plates/mezes (as it is in Turkish taverns), alongside a green salad for lunch or dinner, or even on its own as a protein-rich snack. If you want to make a sweet version, omit the lemon and salt, and instead mix in a spoon of honey and some cinnamon!
The grain that you use is also somewhat flexible. For the quickest version, use a soft white wheat berry or pearled barley that can cook in a short period of time. You may also use hard wheat berries, but you will need to soak them and cook them for a longer period of time to get them to soften.
Serves about 6 people (small meze portion)
1 cup soft white wheat berries (Turkish: aşurelik buğday) (215 grams)
250 grams strained plain full-fat yogurt (Turkish: süzme yoğurt)- enough to cover the wheat
1/4 teaspoon salt (~1 gram)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (30 ml)
Optional garnishes: extra virgin olive oil, Aleppo red pepper flakes, chopped walnuts
- Wash and strain the wheat, then place it into a small pot and cover with enough water so there is about 1 inch of water above the wheat.
- Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer, cooking until the wheat has softened but is still chewy (~10-20 min, depending on your wheat). The wheat will absorb a lot of the water.
- Strain any remaining water out and allow wheat to cool down in refrigerator.
- Once the wheat is cool, mix in the rest of the ingredients- yogurt, salt, lemon juice.
- Serve cool with optional garnishes like olive oil, red pepper flakes, or chopped walnuts.