This wheat berry, corn, and zucchini salad was born, like so many great things, of necessity.
I was thinking about making a “zoodles” salad out of spiralized zucchini, corn, cheese, and cilantro. Then I got out my spiralizer attachment, which I haven’t used in five plus years, and started spiralizing zucchini. Everything went well until I tried to use the giant zucchini I got in my weekly farmers’ market box by cutting it in half. The attachment basically dug a hole in the zucchini, a feat I didn’t even know was possible.
I persisted because I’m the type of person who doesn’t go down without a fight. I was left with mutilated zucchini, plus a handful of zoodles. Then and there I decided that the zoodles trend is over and the next time I’ll use the spiralizer attachment, it will be to peel an apple (since apparently that’s a possibility).
I also decided to chop up the mangled zucchini, sauté it, and throw it into a wheat berry salad with cooked corn kernels, cilantro, queso fresco, olive oil, lots of lime juice, salt, and pepper. I added some red pepper flakes for spice.
I’m not sure if the salad tasted good because I was so proud of myself for rebuilding dinner after I almost destroyed it, or if it was because it was actually good, but either way, I’d highly recommend it. It’s a great way to use up leftover produce. You could also add some chopped tomato and it would taste delicious.
You could also sub in quinoa or another grain if you’re not a fan of wheat berries. If you’ve never tried wheat berries, I’d recommend them. They’re a little like farro except smaller, and they have a nice chewy consistency that pairs well with crisp vegetables.
Here’s a song to get you started on your wheat berry, corn, and zucchini salad journey.
Wheat Berry, Corn, and Zucchini Salad
1 cup dry wheat berries
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 corn cob, sheathed and kernels removed
a handful of cilantro leaves, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper to taste
queso fresco for topping
the juice of one lime
a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
Cook your wheat berries according to package directions. While the wheat berries are cooking, make your corn and zucchini sauté. Heat some olive oil in a pan over medium heat and add the chopped zucchini and corn kernels. Cook, stirring every so often, until the zucchini and corn is golden brown.
Remove the pan from heat and toss the wheat berries and zucchini and corn with cilantro, lime juice, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and queso fresco. Toss together and top with more queso and cilantro as desired. Enjoy!