This salad invention was the result of one sweet, juicy mango that simply inspired me. My kids adore mangos. As a fun snack, they typically eat the mangos right off the skin (see photo). I had to hide this one so that it actually made it to the salad!
To easily cube the mango, slice all the way down the mango along the flat part of the seed. Then, slice in a checkerboard pattern without going through the skin. Invert the piece, then carefully slice off the little squares. At this point, my kids just bite the little cubes off. It’s what we call “fun food!” There will be a little more fruit clinging to the pit which you can slice off as well.
So, back to the salad. There are so many delicious parts to this dish that I didn’t know what to call it. Every ingredients highlights the next and all deserve a mention. But since the mango was the inspiration, it won the naming rights.
All of these ingredients were things I had on hand. Typically, I use wheat berries in soups where I would use rice. Sometimes, I mix the two. I love the nutty flavor and the slight crunch. I also pair wheat berries with more earthy ingredients like mushrooms and root vegetables. Mango, however, was a twist that worked!
There are lots of ways that you could adapt this recipe to suit your tastes or conform to what is in your fridge or pantry…pumpkin seeds instead of pistachios; cilantro, basil, or mint instead of parsley; brown rice or quinoa instead of wheat berries. You get the idea.
If you are using the wheat berries, you may cook them the evening or morning before. They need to simmer in water, uncovered, for 45 minutes but don’t need so much as a stir. Put the timer on and go about your business. When I cook the wheat berries ahead, I drain them well then add one tablespoon of the olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper while they are still warm. This way, they absorb some extra flavor as they cool and are ready for the rest of the ingredients to be tossed in!
Some recipes call for soaking wheat berries. This is not a necessary step. Some recipes suggest cooking for an hour. I recommend tasting after 45 minutes. I prefer them at this point because they have a little bite to them–sort of like cooking your veggies al dente.
- 1 cup wheat berries, cooked (I like the hard red variety)
- 1 large, ripe mango, cubed
- 1 slightly-heaping cup frozen edamame (not in the pod), cooked according to package directions
- 3 scallions, sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons red onion, minced
- 1/4 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- sea or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- spinach or baby greens for serving, optional
- Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Store in refrigerator. Serve chilled or at room temperature, on a bed of spinach or baby greens, if desired.