Yesterday I was invited to lunch at Tawlé , the latest “in” restaurant in Beirut. The food there is cooked by different chefs every day who cook the specialties of their village. You never know from one day to the next what to expect. The food is served buffet-style, with unlimited refills and the stylish and sophisticates eat it shoulder to shoulder on long benches; the atmosphere is very convivial and it is always packed! Apparently Beirutis are eager to get reacquainted with rural food la cuisine du terroir. On that day, the featured cuisine was from a village in South Lebanon: lentil kibbé, a keshk soup, a wheat salad, meghli pudding, a muhallabiyeh flavored with rose water, markook bread, were some of the dishes.
My favorite dish was the wheat berry salad; it was light and lemony and with the rustic goodness of wheat. So the next day I bought some wheat and made it at home. Wheat is the symbol of prosperity , what could be more fitting for the new year?
- 2 cups of wheat
- 6 cups of water or veggie broth or throw in a cube of bouillon
- A handful of chopped parsley
- Dressing: 3/4 cup of fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup of olive oil, or more as needed
- Garnishes: a handful of raisins and some nuts
- 2 tablespoons of oil to fry the wheat berries in
- Heat some oil in a large pot. Fry the wheat until the grains are coated with it.
- Pour the hot water and bouillon cube and bring to a boil.
- Simmer for 45 minutes or until the grains are doubled in size and fluffy and tender. About 15 minutes before the end of cooking time throw in the raisins.
- Pour the dressing on the wheat and toss to coat evenly. Add the chopped parsley. Garnish with the toasted nuts.