I’ve been thinking about making a dish with wheat berries for a while now, and I guess I was jolted with a little bit of inspiration from a pasta dish I had at A Voce. Drawing on the brown butter and sage, that familiar and comforting fall aroma, and enjoying the dabs of natural sweetness from the butternut squash, this dish came together almost by itself.

Wheat Berries, Butternut Squash, Brown Butter, Sage

If wheat berries are new to you, don’t worry, I’ve only had them twice before and this is my first time cooking with them. Just think of them as another whole grain. In fact it’s the whole wheat kernel (husk removed), the same wheat that flour is made from. Pretty cool, huh? They taste like larger grains of bouncier brown rice and are a great source of dietary fiber.

wheat berries

This serves as a lovely fall side dish, and could probably also be a vegetarian main course.

Wheat Berries and Butternut Squash with Brown Butter and Sage
~6 side servings

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup hard wheat berries
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 cups (1/2″) diced butternut squash
  • 12 fresh sage leaves
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable broth or chicken broth
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instruction -

1. Add salt to water and bring to a boil. Add wheat berries and simmer un-covered for 45 minutes, or until tender. (Wheat berries should be easy to bite through but not soft and mushy.)

2. While wheat berries are cooking, preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

3.When wheat berries are ready, drain and set aside.

4. Heat 1/2 tablespoon butter in a medium sized oven-safe pan on high heat. Add butternut squash and brown. Toss occasionally but but not continuously, allowing time for the sides to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Put it in the oven for about 5 minutes, or until tender. Remove from oven and set aside.

butternut squash cubes

5. In a large (12″) saute pan, heat remaining 4 tablespoons butter until it turns brown. Add sage and let them sizzle for a few seconds. Remove from the heat and carefully add vegetable broth. Return to heat and allow to thicken slightly. Add wheat berries and butternut squash. Season to taste and toss. Serve immediately.

Wheat Berries, Butternut Squash, Brown Butter, Sage 4

posted by jessica at 04:00 PM Filed under American, Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.