An Italian American who loves to share food and travel adventures
It’s A Date! With Butternut Squash, Wheat Berry & Blue Cheese
February 5, 2019 February 9, 2019
It’s a bird, it’s a plane, no it’s a super food!! (Bet if you are of a certain age you thought I was going to say it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s superman – but no – it’s a super food.)
Never, and I do mean never have I cooked a grain that filled me up soooo much. I’ve prepared dishes with grains such as wheat, oats, barley, quinoa, bulgur, couscous, farro, spelt, amaranth, and rice to name a few. None of them have given me such a feeling of full as wheat berries. Maybe it’s because wheat berries pack in a lot of fiber which is a filling agent for the human body.
Here’s what the Food Network has to say about wheat berries:
“Since the wheat kernel is left intact, virtually none of the nutrients are stripped away. A cup of cooked wheat berries has about 300 calories and is packed with fiber, protein and iron. Tasty sprouts are loaded with vitamin E, a cell-protecting antioxidant, and magnesium, which is good for healthy bones and muscles.”
So back to the beginning of the post, what is the recipe? It’s a salad, it’s a side dish, it’s a vegetarian meal, and yes, it’s a super food!!
Cooked wheat berries ready to be mixed with other ingredients.
Butternut squash added to wheat berries. Looking yummy already.
Mix it all together and what have you got? A tasty bowl of grain goodness with flavors intensified by the addition of walnuts, dates, and blue cheese!
Prep: Preheat oven to 375 F degrees. Line baking pan with non-stick foil.
In a medium pot of salted water add the wheat berries and whole garlic clove. Cook on medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Once water reaches a boil, cover and reduce temp to low to simmer for 1 hour.
When grains are soft removed from heat, drain and mash up the garlic with the grains.
While the wheat berries are cooking, place the butternut squash on a baking tray lined with non-stick foil and season with a pinch of sea salt and black pepper, drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. And sprinkle with cinnamon. Toss everything to combine. Roast in hot oven for 30 to 35 minutes, until squash is golden and tender.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the dates and stir them for 1 to 2 minutes, until they are caramelized and sticky. The skin will be slightly crispy. Remove from heat and sprinkle with a big pinch of sea salt.
Combine the grains with the butternut squash, and parsley. Drizzle some olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice over the mixture, and season well with sea salt and black pepper.
To serve, scatter the dates, blue cheese, and walnuts over the wheat berries and butternut squash mixture. (I combined all the ingredients together because I wanted the flavors to incorporate well with each other.)
The calories may seem high for this recipe but it is calculated for 4 servings. If you are using this dish as a side salad or side grain dish it can easily serve 6-8 which would lower the calories considerably. But also note the high nutrient content this recipe provides in the low sugar/high fiber content. And the taste is out of this world!
Date, Butternut, Wheat Berry & Blue Cheese
Amount Per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
With all the grains I’ve cooked over the years, I should have invested in Bob’s Red Mill stock (although it is an employee-owned company). This is not a paid commercial for Bob’s, I just have a general admiration for their products.