Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables and Fresh Figs

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Look at those colors. This dish is really something to feast your eyes on and I am not saying that in a way to take credit for its beauty, that is straight up mother natures game. And its strong. The topic of colors seemed to continually come up in conversation this past week with several different people. Like this past weekend in a training and development course I was taking a woman shared about the impact “having her colors done” had had on her happiness and confidence. It made going shopping all that more easy which for some of us, myself included, can be a very time consuming task. Essentially what “having your colors done” means is a color analyst will teach you what colors look good on you and what colors to avoid. It is based on your hair color, eye color, and skin tone. The process includes going through your wardrobe, editing it and learning what types of colors will benefit you in certian types of situations. Lets say you have an important meeting so you want to wear a color that has you be perceived as powerful or you are giving a speech and want to look inviting and likeable – there would be a specific color for that, too. Believe it or not, its science.

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So what does all this color analysis have to do with wheat berry salad? Bright orange, forest greens, warm shades of browns, magenta and deep rouge. I am a massive sucker for synchronicty and coming home from the course hearing what that woman said and editing these photos I was like, no way!

These must be “my colors.”

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Based on doing my own color analysis I would think I fall somewhere in the Autumn catagory. Which is characterized by  having skin tones of peach, golden beige, caramel, or beige; hair the color of chestnut brown, or dark warm brown; and eyes the color of  dark brown or golden brown. There are more color possibilities within the Autumn catagory but those would describe my coloring well and what I find most surprising about this is that a good portion of my clothes fall within the recommended color pallete already…, or atleast the items in my closet I tend to wear the most often. Which are very similar to the colors in this salad.

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This salad is also full of flavor!

Its sweet, savory, hearty, filling, bright, comforting and perfect for THANKSGIVING.

Or any other fall dinner party you might be hosting/attending. You can easily make this gluten free by substituting brown rice and quinoa. This recipe yields a very generous amount making it perfect for large groupd of people, or the type of dish you make once and eat the rest of the week for lunch. I plan on making this in Chicago with my family over Thanksgiving! 🙂

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I am heading to NYC today for a fun and extra long weekend with friends.

On the Calendar is: exploring the High Line, spending all my $$$ at This Is Story, dancing my ass off during Disclouse at Madison Square Garden, and tracking down the Cinnamon Snail food truck for vegan eats!

Please if you have any recos on where to go, what to see, eat and drink, LET A GIRL KNOW in the comments below!

Song of the day: Kygo | Featuring Conrad Sewell – Firestone

If you make the recipe, please tag #caraskitchen and @caraskitchen on instagram. I’d love to see!

Winter Wheat Berry Salad with Roasted Root Vegetables and Fresh Figs

October 22, 2015
Serves 10 Servings
Prep time
30m
Cook Time
1h 0m

 

Recipe adapted from William-Sonoma

 

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Ingredients

  • 3 Cups
    wheat berries, Farro or Pearl Barley
  • 2
    parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 2
    carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1
    small butternut squash, halved, seeded, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1
    large red onion, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5
    garlic cloves
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup
    cup olive oil, plus more as needed
  • 1/4-1/2 Cup
    balsamic vinegar, more as needed
  • pink salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 Cup
    fresh figs, chopped into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 Cup
    toasted pecans, rough chop
  • 1/2 Cup
    flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 3/4 Cups
    dried cranberries
  • 3
    green onions, light and dark green portions, chopped

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over high heat, combine the wheat berries/farro/barley (whatever you find or sub brown rice and quinoa to make gluten freE) with water according to the package instructions. Add 1/2 tsp. salt and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until tender. Drain, fluff with a fork and place in a large bowl.

  2. meanwhile, preheat the over to 450F (220C) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. I ended up needing two baking sheets.

  3. Prepare the ingredients as stated above, try to cut them into very similar sized pieces so they cook evenly.

    Place the parsnips, carrots, squash, red onion and garlic on the prepared sheet. Toss with 1/4 cup oil and 1/4 cup vinegar and season with salt and pepper. If you need to add more oil and vinegar so it is evenly coated, then go ahead. Roast, stirring once, until the vegetables are slightly caramelized and tender to a fork, about 25 minutes.

    Once complete, peel the roasted garlic, chop into small pieces and add back to the baking sheet.

  4. Add the roasted vegetables to the bowl with the wheat berries. Add in the parsley, figs, cranberries and green onions. stir to combine.

    Add more oil and vinegar if the mixture needs more moisture. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    Serve immediately, or keep covered in the fridge until ready. This gets better the longer it has time to sit and the flavors mend making it a perfect dish to make ahead of time!

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