Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Montana Salad

For Valentine's Day this year, Kevin got me an old Oregon Cancer Society Fundraiser Cookbook. The copyright in the book is 1961 and I was mildly surprised to find this recipe among the salads listed. I didn't know cooking with wheat berries was hip among the cancer society cookbook circles, but hey- I'm glad it was! This salad is delicious, hands down, but also surprisingly different. The cooked wheat berries lend a chewy texture akin to tapioca and a nuttiness, too.

When my family first tried this dessert fluff out, they were very surprised and they all tried to figure out what it was they were eating. It's mellow and smooth but the berries are so different with their unique flavor and texture. This is one of my most favorite desserts now. I'm just in love with it for so many reasons. I did have to laugh at the original recipe though- when it called for the wheat berries, the instructions pointed you to the feed store to buy them! Thank goodness we've come far enough to be able to buy wheat berries at every health food store and most chain super stores. How funny :)

It's very simple to whip up, but needs to chill a couple hours before serving. It calls for a lot of convenience foods, but I transformed it to an all homemade version that is divine. However, I can vouch to the tastiness of the other way as well. Either way you choose to whip this up will yield the same delectable salad.

Montana Salad

  • 1 cup wheat berries
  • 2 cups crushed pineapple, drained well
  • 1 (8 oz) brick cream cheese, softened
  • 3 cups vanilla homemade vanilla pudding (or 1 large box of instant pudding combined with the milk called for and chilled)
  • 2 cups whipped cream ( or 1- 8 oz tub whipped topping, defrosted)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Cover the wheat berries with water and soak overnight. To cook, pour berries and water into a pan, add enough water to cover by 1 inch and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook berries for 2 hours. Drain; chill completely. In a bowl, beat the cream cheese and the pudding together. Fold in the pineapple, whipped cream, vanilla and cooked wheat berries. Let chill for at least 2 hours before serving.

So, as you can see this is a very simple recipe. I know those of you who buy wheat berries in large quantities like I do will appreciate an extra way to use them up. A sweet treat that has some nutritional merits (it is a dessert after all) is nice to have under your cap for something a little different.


Amanda. G said...

Never tried these wheat berries are they sweet? This sounds yummy

Charley Cooke said...

They are hard to explain. They're what you grind or mill to make flour, but they aren't bitter. They have a chewy, nutty flavor. THey taste a lot like tapioca in this dessert.