Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Iowa Layered Salad

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Martha Stewart's Iowa Layered Salad

Many years ago, I came across an article in Martha Stewart Living about an Iowa farm picnic.  I can remember the beautiful pictures of a fantastic picnic on a picturesque Iowa farm.  Having grown up in Iowa, and having friends with farms, I can honestly say I have never enjoyed such an event as it was pictured.  But that is what Martha does best!  One of the recipes was for a layered salad which I did find on her website titled Dig Deep Layered Salad.  How unromantic is that?  There is no reference to that gorgeous article, and the title alone would turn me off.  However, this is one of my favorite pot luck dishes.  It is relatively healthy, unusual in many ways, and so delicious.  It really works in any season, and compliments just about anything.  And trust me, after it has been dug into and you scoop the leftovers into another bowl, it just gets better.  There is really nothing in here that wilts or gets soggy, so it holds up great as leftovers.  You'll have to make a trip to a healthy store to find the hard wheat berries.  My Whole Foods has them in bulk, and not only are they delicious, they are cheap.
Hard Wheat Berries

I also made a few changes.  I used white balsamic vinegar instead of white wine vinegar, so I didn't add the sugar to the dressing.  Also, I bought a bag of shredded slaw.  I am a girl without a real grocery store right now, and the Super Target I was shopping at had some pretty bad looking Napa cabbage, which is my favorite.  I decided to shortcut it with the prepackaged.  It works, but my old supermarket (that I dearly miss) had a packaged fine slaw with no purple cabbage or carrots in it.  That would have been my ideal choice if I couldn't get a good Napa cabbage. I also use only enough grated carrot to cover the top, I think 5 cups is a lot of carrot.  It also depends on how close I am to the top of my serving dish, I like to fill perfectly.  This is the bowl I always use to serve in, so I have the recipe figured out pretty well.  So, what are you waiting for?  Get in there!

Iowa Layered Salad

2 cups hard wheat berries
6 T fresh lemon juice
1/4 c white wine vinegar
4 tea dijon mustard
1 ½ t. salt
¼ t. pepper
1 T sugar
½ t. celery seed
1 cup olive oil
1 head (2 ¼ cups) chopped celery
1 cup dried cranberries
10 oz. blue cheese crumbled
1 small cabbage shredded (5 cups)
5 large carrots, shredded (5 cups)

Place wheat berries in saucepan cover with 2 qt. water, cover and boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes. Drain.  Place in bottom of large (4 qt) glass serving bowl.  Mix lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper, sugar, celery seed, and whisk in olive oil.  Drizzle 2 T dressing over wheat berries.  Cover berries with celery and 2 T dressing.  Cover celery with cranberries and half of blue cheese and 2 T dressing.  Toss cabbage with 4 T dressing and layer over blue cheese. Top with carrots and remaining blue cheese and remaining dressing.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.  Serve at room temp.  

Dig In!

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