a wheat berry, rye & kale salad

after a long weekend on orcas island with my band, i came home and spent several days packing for our road trip while david finished out his work week. our plan was to leave friday afternoon after work, drive to the city of bend oregon to stay with a friend, and then spend all of saturday driving south to bishop, california. amidst all the packing i did on friday, i managed to make a batch of english muffins, tahini sauce and a giant kale salad to bring with us to fuel the road trip. this was overly ambitious considering how much packing needed to be done, but somehow i pulled it off. but it certainly paid off to have clean food while on the road, and home-made english muffins grilled on our camp stove the first morning spent at our campsite! 

this kale salad was inspired by a salad i used to enjoy after my morning yoga class at the oddfellows cafe in seattle. the cafe made their salad with farro, but i used a mix of hard red wheat berries and whole rye. it's hearty, salty, and delicious... with a side of roasted marinated golden beets, it was the perfect meal for sustaining me through one and half days of riding passenger in a car driving just shy of a thousand miles south. now we are limited to a small two-burner camp stove, but i'm for the culinary challenge! i hope to post some of my more successful camp-stove meals in the weeks to come! for now, i leave you with this lovely recipe! 

wheat berry, rye & kale salad ~ serves 2-3
1/2 cup wheat berries
1/2 cup rye berries 
1 large bunch lacinato kale
1 shallot
1/3 cup shaved parmesan
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2-1 lemon
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey, optional 
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
pinch aleppo pepper
pinch black pepper

soak wheat & rye berries in several cups of water for at least two hours. strain and place in a small sauce pan with 3-4 cups of water. simmer over low heat, covered, until the grains are tender but not so overcooked that they begin to fall apart. cooking time will depend on how long the grains soak for, but aprox. 30-60 minutes. stir every 10 minutes or so. once cooked fully, strain the grains from the water and place in a bowl to cool. 

to prepare the shallots, peel and thinly slice the shallot and place them in a bowl with a cup of cold water. let soak for at least 5 minutes to remove the bitterness of raw shallots. 

wash, dry and remove stalky parts of the kale. cut into thin ribbons the width of the kale and place chopped kale into a large salad bowl. using your hands, massage the kale just for a minute until the leaves turn a shade darker. 

in a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, olive oil and honey. add this dressing to the kale, along with the grains and the remaining ingredients. strain the shallots from the soaking water and add these to the salad. toss and adjust seasoning to taste... you may want a bit more salt, or more parmesan or a touch more olive oil.