Wheat Berry & Puy Lentil Salad with Oven-Roasted Aubergine & Harissa-Yogurt Dressing
Wheat berries are whole, unprocessed wheat kernels and the basis of all wheat products. They are high in fibre, with a characteristically chewy texture, and although they take a while to cook, they do not require soaking, which is a bonus. Harissa is a North African chilli condiment that is versatile to use, and here I’ve used it to spice up the yogurt dressing.
- 200g/7oz/1 cup wheat berries
- 1 aubergine, thinly sliced
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- 3–4 sprigs of lemon thyme
- 100g/31/2oz/1/2 cup Puy lentils
- 1 tsp harissa paste
- juice of ½ lemon
- 4 tbsp plain yogurt
- 1 handful of spinach leaves
- sea salt
- Put the wheat berries, 750ml/26fl oz/3 cups water and plenty of salt in a saucepan. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 1 hour or until the wheat berries are soft. Drain and set aside.
- While the berries are simmering, preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas 6 and grease a baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the oil.
- Brush the aubergine slices with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and arrange on the baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 20–25 minutes until softened and golden, then remove from the oven, cover and set aside somewhere warm.
- If you prefer to griddle the aubergine slices, place a griddle pan over a medium-high heat, add the slices and the lemon thyme sprigs and sear the aubergine slices along with the lemon thyme sprigs for about 5 minutes on each side until they have softened and are cooked through but not falling apart. If you are following this step, then do it about 10 minutes before you are ready to serve, to ensure the slices are warm.
- During the last 30 minutes of the wheat berries’ cooking time, put the lentils in a saucepan and cover with 250ml/9fl oz/1 cup water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 20–25 minutes or until soft with a gentle bite. Drain well and set aside.
- To make the harissa yogurt, put the harissa paste, lemon juice and yogurt in a small mixing bowl and whisk until well incorporated. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Set aside.
- Once the lentils and wheat berries have cooked, mix them together and toss with the remaining olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle over the spinach leaves and top with the aubergine slices and the roasted lemon thyme sprigs. Pour the harissa yogurt over the salad or serve on the side.