Wheat Berry Salad with Apples and Pomegranate Seeds

Serves 6

1 cup wheat berries

2 cups chicken stock (or water)

1/2 cup walnuts (halves or pieces)

Seeds from 1 pomegranate

1 crisp apple, skin on, chopped

3 scallions, both green and white parts, sliced

1/2 small red onion, diced

1 or 2 cloves garlic, minced

1 jalapeno chile, seeded and diced

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

1. Combine wheat berries and chicken stock in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for an hour. After an hour most of the liquid should be absorbed and the wheat berries should have an al dente bite to them.

2. While the wheat berries are cooking, toast the walnut pieces in the oven or a toaster oven. Remove when slightly brown and let cool.

3. Remove the seeds from the pomegranate (Fill a medium-size bowl with water, break the fruit apart, and pull the seeds out, letting them drop into the water. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the rest of the fibrous material that separates the seeds will float to the top; discard the floaters, and drain the seeds into a colander to dry.)

4. Add olive oil to a saute pan, heat, then add the garlic, onion, and jalapeno. Saute for about 5 minutes until the onions just start to turn color. Add a little more oil and the balsamic vinegar. Keep over the heat briefly as you stir to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.

5. In a large bowl, add the cooked wheat berries, the walnuts, apples, pomegranate seeds, scallions, and cooked onions/garlic/chile. Mix well. Let sit for about an hour to let the flavors come together. Taste and adjust seasonings. You may want to add more vinegar, salt, or pepper. Then serve.