Monday, July 14, 2008

Unpelted Wheat? Mystery Solved

Recently, I stopped by North Park Produce and was noodling around the packaged foods when I found a bag of unpelted wheat packaged by Sadaf. Looked interesting so I brought it home. I couldn't find any reference to it except that it is used in Iranian cooking to celebrate the New Year.

Well, it was inexpensive and I figured how wrong could I go if I just cooked it up like other grains? So after a week or so of procrastination, I pulled out the bag and experimented. I put a cup of the wheat into a pot with two cups of water, brought it to a low boil and then reduced the heat and let it simmer uncovered for about an hour. While it was cooking, I sauteed half of a medium-sized diced red onion and two cloves of minced garlic. Once the water was completely absorbed and the wheat was cooked (chewy with a little bite), I emptied it into a bowl, added the sauteed onion and garlic and mixed it with a little red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper, and chopped chives and thyme from my garden. I then let it sit for about an hour for the flavors to take.

It turned out great. In fact, it was suspiciously familiar. So I opened the pantry door, pulled out my jar of wheat berries and, well, wouldn't you know. That's what unpelted wheat is.

You can, of course, find wheat berries at Henry's, Whole Foods and well, North Park Produce -- as unpelted wheat.

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