I survived nearly 30 years on this planet before encountering grain salads. Sure, I had the odd meal of couscous and roasted vegetables – but no quinoa, no Israeli couscous, and definitely no wheatberries.
Photo by esimpraim
This all changed when we started doing our grocery shopping at Plum Market, where I fell in love with their wheatberry salad: nutty grains, dried cherries, and toasted pine nuts tossed in a light vinaigrette. I really kind of can’t get enough of it. I’ve had good intentions of duplicating this salad for the better part of two years, but instead the jar of wheatberries has lingered in the cabinet.
So imagine my delight when Jackie and I went to Marathon for a late dinner and found an entire section of the menu dedicated to “Greens and Grains.” I couldn’t pick just one – but they had a sampler platter, so I got to try several, though they had run out of two of the four that I requested. I did, however, have beets with goat cheese – always a good thing – a creamy, nutty, savory dish of wheatberries, roasted mushrooms, and braised cabbage, and a lightly dressed green salad besides. So good! I wish I’d had the promised Brussels sprouts – but was quite happy with my wee salads and two refreshing cocktails (absinthe and champagne! white grape martini!).
Photo by Tammy Green (aka Zesmerelda)
Of all the stands at Reading Terminal Market, I happened to find myself in front of yet another grain salad on Friday – this time cracked wheat or barley, corn, and green beans nested in greens, and served with roasted vegetables. Not as glorious as Marathon’s offerings, but a delightful and delicious find among stands selling pretzel dogs (Thursday’s lunch), absurdly large apple dumplings, and cookies by the pound. I wish I could tell you the name of the place, but I was too hungry to make note of it, and too turned around to be able to locate it on the Terminal map. Just walk around until you find something healthy, and maybe you’ll end up with a magical grain salad as well!
If you go:
There are a variety of locations, but we had dinner at 10th and Walnut, and if I hadn’t gotten the grains and greens, I would’ve gone for the pork nachos, which looked amaaaaazing.