What Evs... (French Fridays with Dorie: Wheat Berry & Tuna Salad)

The lazy, hazy, humid, rainy days of summer are here.

The kind of days where every movement seems to take just enough extra effort that you want, no NEED, to make every action count.

Where you just want to go with the flow and say "what ever"...

I am not sure if I call it laziness or conservationism. 

You decide.

These are the days where I try to either a) limit the amount of cooking/ baking going on in the house and b) when cooking/ baking must be done, relegate it to the grill.

Now, I know this was supposed to be a wheat berry/ tuna salad; but since I was having my parents over for their anniversary (56 years, can you believe it?) and this was the main course, I felt I had to do a little better than a can of tuna...

And I wasn't feeling the apples, onions and celery that day...

It ended up being the perfect meal for the weirdness that characterized the weather around here this summer.

We capped off the meal with next week's cherry raspberry clafoutis, followed by conversation on the back deck.

It wasn't fancy, but it was satisfying - in the end, it was all that mattered. 

Peace out.

I know, this is supposed to be a recipe-recipe, but I looked at it and saw it more as inspiration-recipe.

Here's what I did...

Grain Salad with Protein
Adapted from Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan

For the dressing:
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
3 Tbs champagne balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt (1/2 tsp pink sea salt), pepper (1/2 tsp crushed black peppercorns)

For the salad:
1 cup grains (wheat berries, spelt berries, rye berries, etc), cooked and cooled
Protein of your choice, cooked (2 lbs shrimp, grilled)
Lettuce (one bunch green leaf lettuce, one bunch escarole)
Hard boiled eggs, quartered
Radishes, cut into 1/2 inch chunks
Small golden tomatoes, halved
Kalamata olives
1 4 oz round of fresh Chevre, crumbled

Grilled lavash or pita wedges, for serving

Combine dressing ingredients in a glass jar. Shake vigorously until well combined.

In a medium bowl, toss cooked grains with 2-3 Tbs of dressing. Let sit for ~1 hour.

In a large bowl, I combined the tomatoes, radishes and lettuce. Since I know that my eaters have particular feelings about the remaining ingredients, I kept those on the side. To serve, everyone placed a couple of scoops full of the lettuce mixture on their plate and added what ever they wanted of the add-ins. (The remaining dressing was at the table in a bowl).

This post participates in French Fridays with Dorie.


  1. So many great options with this salad...and your tweaks look fantastic, Cher!

  2. I fully agree with you that this one read more like an idea than a recipe. I really liked her ideas, never would have thought to add the apple on my own. But now that I have made it, I doubt that I'll ever make it the same way again. Seems more like a way to use up whatever is kicking around in the fridge. And I love your idea to add grilled shrimp, elevates the whole meal a notch or so.

  3. Even though I followed it, mostly, I agree that this one is totally a template, not a strict recipe. It was a delicious salad for a hot day. Hope you're staying cool. It's brutal here. Happy Anniversary to your parents!

  4. your salad sounds delicious.
    happy anniversary to your parents !

  5. Oh this was a TOTAL inspiration recipe! We also ate this with a rogue raspberry clafoutis ;) Have a great weekend!

  6. LOL - grain salad with protein is an apt description! I want one of those prawn skewers - they look delish!

  7. Conversation on the deck, great food and celebrating your parents unbelievable number of anniversaries sounds like a wonderful way to spend the day Cher!

  8. Happy anniversary to your parents my friend :)
    I love this salad, it looks so healthy!

    Choc Chip Uru

  9. Cher, Such a wonderful way to weather the heat! Love all the tweaks you made to this salad! So very up-scale, a perfect meal to celebrate your parents anniversary! Happy Anniversary to both of them!

  10. This looks like a delicious and creative rendition of the recipe! Happy anniversary to your parents - they deserve a celebration!

  11. Fifty-six years. I think just cake and ice cream would have sufficed. Félicitations to them. Although you often cook and bake to your own drummer, you really veered right (notice I didn;t say "left") this time. But, great results and even better when you have a family with various likes and dislikes (and, who doesn't). You set a pretty table and I am quite sure everyone enjoyed and appreciated your effort. I am sorry you have the rain going on. Wish that we could get some compromise going between the West and the East. Cher, we are really on fire out here. My old stomping grounds, Mt. Charleston, near Henderson is on fire. Five days and no end in sight. We are just crossing our fingers in this area (Colorado) that we can stay safe.

  12. I like your interpretation of the recipe. It definitely reminds me that I take things way too literally. Congratulations to your parents, that's incredible.

  13. Amen to this whole post! I am totally making this tomorrow for dinner--with tofu skewers on the grill? It's going to be ninety something. Grilling weather. Aww. The anniversary story is too precious and amazing!

  14. Cher, your wheat berry salad looks wonderful - this was a fabulous recipe that left quite a bit of room for interpretation, I agree, and although I am running very late with comments this week (sorry for that) I wanted to let you know that I really like the way you presented your healthy and delicious wheat berry salad with all those wonderful veggies and eggs and chèvre! I already made it twice since last Friday for two school end/summer parties and have not tired of the recipe yet.
    Have a lovely Tuesday and congratulations to your parents!

  15. Gorgeous meal and congrats to your parents.. how wonderful. Love your alternations on the salad... this is a really versatile dish.

  16. I love your version. The apple and avocado combination threw me off a bit too. Those skewers of shrimp turn this simple recipe into something really special.

  17. Well, your grain salad sounds delicious.


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