Royal Dinette's wheat berry salad

A healthy salad with blueberries, mustard greens, feta and sunflower seeds

Photo by Fred Fung.

Like many top-notch restaurants, Vancouver's Royal Dinette sources fresh ingredients from local suppliers. It uses GRAIN products grown by farmers in Saskatchewan and Alberta, like the wheat berries in this recipe by Royal Dinette's head chef, Jack Chen. They are chewy, sweet, high in protein, and adds something extra to salads. For the best results, everything is made from scratch in this recipe, but you can substitute some store-bought components for convenience.

Wheat berries

1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups wheat berries
1 bay leaf
3 cups vegetable stock

In a pan over high heat, add oil, onion and garlic, and lightly sauté until soft. Add wheat berries and bay leaf. 

Add stock and bring to boil. Lower to simmer. 

Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. 

Strain if needed.

Dried blueberries

1 1/4 cups white wine vinegar
4/5 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
1 sprig tarragon
2 cups blueberries

Bring liquid to boil with sugar and tarragon. Allow to cool. 

At room temperature, pour over blueberries. 

Sit in pickling liquid for a minimum of 24 hours. 

Preheat ovento 150-200 F. 

Strain liquid (can be used for pickling other items, or in vinaigrette). 

Transfer blueberries to a tray and dehydrate in oven until chewy. 

Sunflower seed tahini

1 cup sunflower seeds, toasted
2 cups water
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove roasted garlic
1/3 cup olive oil

Combine sunflower seeds and water in a pot over medium heat and bring to simmer. Reduce until starchy, and sunflower seeds are soft. Be careful not to burn the seeds. 

Place in a blender with lemon juice, roasted garlic and olive oil. 

Blend until smooth. Add water to adjust consistency as needed.

Lemon vinaigrette

2/5 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp grainy mustard
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together until well combined.


2 cups cooked wheat berries
1/2 cup fresh blueberries
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1 cup goat feta
1/4 cup chopped tarragon
salt and pepper
1/2 cup lemon vinaigrette
1/2 cup sunflower seed tahini
mustard greens, as desired
3 tbsp toasted sunflower seeds
sea salt, as needed

Combine the first five ingredients in a bowl. The ratio of blueberries and wheat berries can be adjusted as desired. Season with salt, pepper and lemon vinaigrette. 

Taste, and adjust seasoning as needed. 

Spread sunflower seed tahini on the bottom of a plate or bowl. Pile on dressed salad.

Place mustard greens on top, and garnish with toasted sunflower seeds and sea salt.

2 to 3 servings