Wheatberry, Avocado and Broccoli Pesto Salad

I took an hour this morning to have the “rainy Sunday” I missed out on yesterday. New magazines, coffee and reading cookbooks start-to-finish are my favorite things. Plus a new candle from Mercantile Home – my absolute favorite candles on the earth, ever, and they will be featured in my next “Little Spoon” guest blog for LV Style magazine’s website (new one out later this week).

All that reading makes a girl hungry. Heidi Swason’s Super Natural Every Day cookbook inspired this dish. It’s a spin on her Orzo Salad (p.95) based on the ingredients I had on hand. (She obviously uses orzo pasta, which I replaced with wheatberries, and the pesto I made uses sunflower seeds and nutritional yeast instead of pine nuts and parmesan.)

WHEATBERRY, AVOCADO AND BROCCOLI PESTO SALAD

  • 1 and 1/2 cups dried wheatberries
  • 3 and 1/2 cups water, some salt added
  • 5 cups raw broccoli (about 3 medium sized bunches) cut into bite-sized florets and stems
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2/3 cups raw sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon, plus zest if desired
  • 1 small avocado, diced
  • dried red pepper flakes for garnish

Cook the wheatberries in the water. This takes about 30-45 minutes. Wheatberries are dense and when fully cooked still have a sort of “al dente” chewiness. I love the texture. Once cooked, strain and set aside.

Ingredients for broccoli pesto salad.

Add the broccoli to a large pot of boiling water, and boil for 1-2 minutes, until just blanched and bright green but still crisp. DON’T OVERCOOK. Stay near the stove. Strain and rinse with cold water to stop cooking.

 

Add 2 cups of the broccoli to a food processor, along with garlic, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, oil, lemon juice and zest. Β Process until a pesto-like consistency. (It will be a little creamier than a typical pesto.)

Broccoli pesto (vegan).

In a large bowl, add wheatberries, broccoli pesto, remaining 3 cups of broccoli, and avocado. Stir everything together. It will get really creamy thanks to the pesto and avocado. It will seem thick, but you won’t need to add any more oil (unless you want to), so just keep mixing. Salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with some dried red pepper flakes for a pop of color.

Wheatberry, avocado and broccoli pesto salad.

*I have been using sunflower seeds in place of pine nuts in a lot of recipes lately. I buy a lot of dried fruit/veggies, beans and raw nuts from a market that sells them in pre-packaged bulk. The sunflower seeds are SIX TIMES LESS MONEY than pine nuts.Β 

They aren’t as “creamy” as pine nuts, and for some fancy recipes or when you have a party, you may want to use pine nuts. But for every day cooking and sticking to a grocery budget, they have yet to do me wrong.

6 thoughts on “Wheatberry, Avocado and Broccoli Pesto Salad

  1. Pingback: Broccoli and Barley Salad with Avocado and Sun-dried Tomatoes « in fine balance

  2. Pingback: Lick-the-bowl good Asparagus pesto | f00dventures

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