18 ratings

Gazpacho-Style Wheat Berry Salad


Gazpacho-Style Wheat Berry Salad

Just about any tomatoes will work here: globe, plum, or even cherry tomatoes. Just make sure they have that characteristic "tomato" smell before you buy them at the grocery store. There’s no need to seed those tomatoes. If you do, you’ll inadvertently juice them a bit — and you want to retain all that juice to make the dressing.

This salad gets a little watery — on purpose. The vegetables break down and release their trapped liquids, thereby making a soupy dressing, a soup/salad hybrid. Serve it in bowls.

See all salad recipes.

Click here to see Whole Grains Can Be Sexy, Too.


*Note: Save time — use 2 2/3 cups cooked soft white wheat berries and omit soaking and cooking the raw grains. Many high-end and specialty food markets have prepared food counters and salad bars with cooked wheat berries among the offerings. Take a carton home and you’ve got a jump on this salad — or many others in this section.

**Note: Make it vegetarian — use vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce.


  • 1 Cup wheat berries, preferably soft white wheat berries*
  • 1 Pound tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped finely
  • 1 cucumber, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped finely
  • 3 stalks celery, cut lengthwise into thirds and then chopped finely
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped finely
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons red-wine vinegar
  • 2 Teaspoons Worcestershire sauce**
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt (optional)
  • Several dashes of hot red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco


Soak the wheat berries in a big bowl of cool water for at least 8 and up to 16 hours. Drain them in a fine-meshed sieve or small-holed colander set in the sink. Pour the wheat berries into a large saucepan, fill it about 2/3 full with water, and bring to a boil over high heat.

Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the grains are tender with some chew still left, about 1 hour. Drain again in the same sieve or colander, then run under cool water to bring the wheat berries to room temperature. Drain thoroughly.

Place the cooked wheat berries in a large bowl and stir in the remaining ingredients. Set aside to marinate at room temperature for 20 minutes before serving or store, covered, in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.