Recently, I discovered that I like a lot of root vegetables. I’ve known for a while that I like the usual suspects – carrots and onions, for example. But it’s only been in the past year or so that I’ve discovered others such as the beets and parsnips featured in this recipe. One of my favorite preparations is to cut them up into large chunks, toss with olive oil and kosher salt, and then roast in the oven until they are tender.
Root vegetables make a great side-dish, but I also like the simplicity of a one-dish meal – especially one that will store well for leftovers the next day. I decided to try combining roasted root vegetables with wheat berries, tossed together with a vinaigrette dressing.
I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to do with the dressing until I was at the grocery store and spotted Meyer Lemons. I’ve seen a lot of recipes that use them, but have never tried them myself. I thought the lemons might make a nice, bright vinaigrette that would pair well with the sweet roasted vegetables, so this was my starting point for the dressing.
For the wheat berries, combine in a medium sauce pan:
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 3 cups salted water
Bring to a boil, then simmer until the wheat berries are chewy but no longer hard (about 1 hour).
In the meantime, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Cut into large (about 1/2 inch) chunks:
- 4 small beets
- 2 parsnips (peeled)
- 2 carrots
- 1 large red onion
Place these vegetables on a rimmed baking sheet, lined with foil, and toss with:
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp kosher salt
Bake the vegetables until they are tender when pierced with a fork (up to 1 hour, depending on the size of the pieces). Keep an eye on them, and toss them periodically to keep from burning. You will probably need to remove the onions and smaller pieces of vegetables early.
For the vinaigrette, combine in a small bowl:
- zest from 1 Meyer lemon (about 1 tsp)
- juice from 2 Meyer lemons (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
- leaves from 2 or 3 sprigs of fresh oregano.
Once the wheat berries and vegetables are done, combine them and toss with the vinaigrette – you won’t need all of it. Save the leftover vinaigrette for something else. If desired, top with some crumbles of feat cheese.