I may be going color blind.

At least twenty-two times this weekend, I attempted to bookmark red, white and green food in my google reader.  And label it as “4th of July Friendly”.

Only to hit myself over the head within five minutes when I remembered that the American flag is not, in fact, red, white and green.  And no amount of mislabeled recipes is going to change that.


So, you see.  There’s obviously something funny going on with my neuronal synapses.  And being the good, conscientious medical student that I am.  I’ve made a differential diagnosis.

Jump in?  Let’s shall.


Option 1: Late onset post traumatic stress disorder-induced retrograde amnesia.  (The trauma in question, of course, being the boards.  It always comes back to the boards.)  The idea being that I’ve somehow forgotten everything for the past six months and so my brain is convinced that it is not only December, but Christmas season.  And that I, apparently, now live in the southern hemisphere, which is the only way it could ever rationally be 90 degrees during the holiday season.

Not that anything about this is rational.

But if I start baking mass amounts of cookies and muttering about kangaroos.  You’ll know why.


Option 2: Dissociative identity disorder.  In which part of me believes that I am actually an Italian citizen and that we are celebrating Italian Unification Day this weekend.

(This is also called wishful thinking.)

This might explain why I’ve ultimately decided to bring pasta salad to my parents’ barbecue today.

However, that might also be because that is the only meatless dish I can get my father and brother to eat.

Hmm.  Too many confounding factors. Let’s move on.


Option 3: Lupus.

Or syphilis (impossible given the unfortunate circumstances of my extended term of celibacy).

Or Lyme disease (equally, if not more impossible than syphilis given my disdain of the wild outdoors and dirt and bugs).

Or pregnancy (see note on syphilis, above.)

Or, if this were House, it would actually be due to (e) none of the above, but rather to some weird esoteric bacteria that is normally endemic to tropical environments but that somehow weaseled its way to the northeastern US and into my intestines.  Probably via the obscene amount of mangoes I eat on a daily basis.

C’est la vie.

And while we’re at it.  Happy 4th.


This salad is, in fact, red, white, and green, but I’m certain it would still make a great addition to your 4th of July menu (or to any barbecue menu) if you’re still searching for one.  It is chock full of summer veggies and exudes fresh summer flavor.  Ideal, no matter what part of the color spectrum it falls on.

Wheat Berry Salad with Zucchini and Mozzarella
Serves 4-5, adapted from Bittman’s The Food Matters Cookbook

1/4 cup pine nuts
2 lb zucchini/summer squash, halved lengthwise
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and black pepper
2 cups cooked wheat berries
3 roasted red bell peppers, cut into strips
6 radishes, sliced thinly
1 head butter lettuce, chopped
6 garlic scapes, diced (or 2 cloves garlic, minced)
1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup cubed mozzarella

1. Toast the pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the pan occasionally, until lightly browned.  Remove from the pan.

2. Turn on the broiler.  The heat should be medium-high and the rack about 4 inches from the fire.  Brush the zucchini with the 1 tbsp oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and broil, turning as needed, until lightly charred on both sides and beginning to soften, 5 minutes or more.  When they’re cool enough to handle, cut the zucchini into chunks or slices.

3. Toss together the zucchini, wheat berries, roasted red peppers, radishes, lettuce, and dill in a large salad bowl.  Add the vinegar and remaining oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss again.  Taste and adjust the seasoning.  Toss with mozzarella.

Looking for more summer salads?  Check these out:
Zucchini Crudo
Wheat Berries and Chickpea Salad
Eggplant Crostini with Red Pepper Relish and Feta
Heirloom Tomato Salad with Red Onions, Dill and Feta

I am submitting this to:
Meatless Mondays hosted by Chaya of My Sweet and Savory
Maniac Meatless Mondays hosted by Rebecca Jean of Midnight Maniac
Souper Sundays hosted by Deb of Kahakai Kitchen

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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76 Responses to Wheat Berry Salad with Zucchini and Mozzarella…Happy 4th of July!

  1. You are too funny! But you do take gorgeous photos and make amazing salads! happy 4th!

  2. Hannah says:

    I’m not about to complain about your color substitution- Green is a much better hue for food than blue! This salad sounds delicious, and I have a bunch of pearl barley that would make a good sub for wheat berries… Subtract the cheese, and I’m good to go. 🙂

  3. Too funny and delicious looking vibrant salad!

  4. Red, white and whatever color, this looks good to me!

  5. gotnomilk says:

    I’m going to try this, along with a mozzarella dairy substitution. Fabulous!

  6. Doesn’t matter what colors it is, it looks lovely! Great use of seasonal zucchini.

  7. girlichef says:

    ha ha ha, I had to snicker when I heard the House reference, because that’s exactly what I was thinking of when I reading the possibilities 😉 I don’t care what color it is (I mean, you’re an Italian-American, no? So basically, it’s okay)…it sounds awesome 😀

  8. Kalyn says:

    Looks so good; I love the idea of using wheatberries in a salad like this.

  9. Megan says:

    I’ve recently gotten into wheat berry salads, and this sounds like a fantastic one to try. Happy 4th!

  10. Pierce says:

    You’re hilarious..I love reading your updates 🙂
    Great salad and…have a safe and happy 4th!!

  11. Great combo and fantastic flavors in this healthy salad! Your clicks are awesome…

  12. bellini says:

    I think it’s your Italian roots moving in.

  13. France says:

    I love wheat berry salads. I usually go with Asian flavors when I lack creativity. This sounds wonderful. I love the roasted veggies and the addition of scape.

  14. Veronica says:

    Bwah! Too funny. I immediately thought of the Italian flag and your Italian heritage. But you’re under way too much stress to worry about the colors of our flag right now. If you still don’t have it down after you are comfortably settled into your career, that might be the time to worry. Or just move to Italy so it’s no longer a problem. 😉

  15. Kristin says:

    You can label this whatever you want, it looks delicious! I definitely should not be viewing your page before breakfast. LoL I’m drooling all over the place.

  16. sweetlife says:

    oh I am for red, white and green anyday!! this salad is divine, yummy treat for a monday. thanks joanne!!

  17. Simply Life says:

    oh my gosh, you are too funny! the sad part is that I didn’t even catch the error when you said red. white and green – oops!

  18. The color of some of the darker green zucchini is similar to blueberries, almost. It almost resembles the colors of the flag. The design of the flag is slightly different from the salad. Time to change the flag perhaps?

  19. Happy Fourth of July!! What a colorful, hearty and healthy salad with unique flavors.I love how green it looks.ROFL…happens with me too –green is something which we tend to associate with food mostly 🙂 Whatever the color business is..I m sure its a super salad to grace the dinner table!

  20. Green is way better than blue anyhow, Joanne. Blueberries aren’t even blue.. I’d say they are purple! but yeah, studying for the boards can be very traumatic. When do you get your results?

  21. I’m not exactly fond of blue food anyway, other than blueberries. Your salad looks wonderful! With all of the healthy food you’ve been eating, I’m sure your brain will do just fine for the boards 🙂

  22. i love all the flavors & healthy food in this dish. can’t wait to try it! i’m sure you’ll rock the boards!

  23. Kelly says:

    Mmm what a fantastic recipe along with some gorgeous pictures!!

  24. Ruth Daniels says:

    Looks delicious whatever the color scheme! Hope you had a great July 4th weekend.

  25. sofia says:

    oooh, do i love wheat berries. and there are no blue veggies (besides a purple potato?), so unless you threw blueberries into this salad, you had to go with green. totally legit.

  26. LOLs! You’re hilarious! For whatever reason, this salad is fantastic!

  27. OohLookBel says:

    You must have hypochondria. No worries, it’s easily cured with a dose of red white and Green! Gorgeous salad, it just screams ‘healthy!’.

  28. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, What a wonderfully delicious and healthy salad. I hope that your 4th of July weekend was wonderful. Blessings, Catherine xo

  29. Happy 4th of july! You always makes me smile with your funny posts! Amazing dish!

    Camila Faria

  30. Amy says:

    If this were house you would have been tormented with mis-diagnosis for the last hour, only to figure it out in the last 5 minutes.

    And hey, I am totally okay if you start making tons of cookies and talking about kangaroos. Both fun.

    Happy 4th, sweet lady. I AM SO FULL.

  31. daphne says:

    Bbq with a salad- bringing something you can eat is always a winner! 😉

  32. Candace says:

    What a fantastic looking salad! I have never had wheat berries except in homemade bread. I think I have everything to make this except the radishes. They shouldn’t be too hard to find. I can’t wait to give this a try. Thanks again, Joanne, for another wonderful recipe! I hope you and your family had a fantastic 4th of July!

  33. Hahahah! Looks good, regardless of the Italian patriotism. (Or maybe that’s why it looks so good?) Happy belated Fourth!

  34. I don’t know which I enjoy most–your recipes or your dialog. A little of both I think.


  35. Delicious! I love wheatberry salads. Add a Smurf for the shot and you have your blue.
    Charles and I argue about who is developing dementia faster. He says him, because he is older. I say me, because I live in a dreamworld. He says yes, but you like your dreamworld. So. All good I guess. ?

  36. I’m still laughing over your ‘muttering about kangaroos.’ *snort snort*
    Whatever the colors, this looks like a great salad for the 4th.

  37. Indie.Tea says:

    LOL @ the red, white, and green. More food does seem to come in those colors though. And the wheat berry salad sounds really good – nice and healthy but flavorful.

  38. Maybe it is – f) You brain needs more Italian food.

    Thank you for inspiring me to try cooking wheat berries.

  39. That Girl says:

    I don’t believe you can really be color blind with your amazing colorful creations. I blame the heat.

  40. Mary says:

    What a fabulous salad, Joanne, The Italian flag is great, too. I hope you’ve had a great weekend. Blessings…Mary

  41. Amy says:

    Lady, you are ridiculous–and way too smart for your own good. AND hilarious–see spot-on description of House. Why you’ve been celibate is beyond me; I’d tap that.

    As for a mildly more G-rated response: beautiful salad! And happy 4th!

  42. kankana says:

    Oh don’t blame yourself .. it’s all the horrible heat which makes people do weird things! This salad looks super pretty .. healthy 🙂

  43. Miriam says:

    Awesome salad! And happy 4th to you too :), Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

  44. Swathi says:

    I have some wheat berries in hand may be try this one. looks awesome perfect.

  45. Ada says:

    Ok, so you had me laughing hysterically by the “kangaroo” line. Where on Earth do you come up with this stuff??? So freaking funny. I’m glad you had a nice July 4th (even if it may have been in some alternate universe with a red white and green flag).

    Once you get settled into your lab we should definitely set a date for our indian feast. Good luck with your first week!!!

  46. What a glorious dish! A colorful and flavorful looking salad. That combination is awesome.



  47. I love all your salads.. And awesome pictures as always 😀 Love this one..

  48. Peggy says:

    Red, white, blue. Red, white, green. Same difference =)

    Either way, this pasta salad looks perfect! And I’d welcome it to any barbecue =)

  49. aipi says:

    Nice clean salad with big leafy greens. Some may think its weird but I like a grain in my salad, its a texture thing for me so this works perfect. Hope you had a fun 4th of July.
    US Masala is hosting a giveaway. Do check it out here

    US Masala

  50. Katie says:

    Joanne, That salad looks delicious and so, so healthy. What a fabulous way to celebrate the Fourth without mayonnaise!

  51. I’m going to be receiving some wheat berries in our CSA box tomorrow…. now I know what I’m going to do with them! Thanks for the inspiration!

  52. Love your salad recipes. I can’t wait to try this one.

  53. Reeni says:

    Your salad looks nothing short of amazing! I can get my Dad to eat these too, although I caught him trying to avoid the grapes the other day. Sigh. Red, white and green – works for me! Hope you had a great 4th!

  54. Angela says:

    Blue is not a great color for food. Seriously, either you are stretching with something like blueberries (hello, purple) or you are using food dye. I think you are safe from disease and just hungering for a more culinary color scheme:)

  55. Lori says:

    I just love the possible diagnosis. I like Italy so those colors will work for me, 4th of July or not. We’ve got zucchini coming on strong in the garden so this is perfect timing.

  56. elly says:

    Looks fabulous! I’m bookmarking this one for sure. I love each ingredient more than the one before it. 🙂

  57. How about we foodies propose an alternative US flag? Really, only one food is blue, and so it’s really unfair of Mother Nature to us Americans. Nothing screams “I Love America” like a delicious wheat berry salad!

  58. Carolyn Jung says:

    I like Option 2 — claiming Italian heritage. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be part Italian, right? One of my best friends once told me that she wants to be reincarnated as an Italian man. And she’s Japanese-American! Too funny. Ahh, but Italian men do get pampered so well by their mamas.

  59. Monet says:

    Smile. Bring on the green. This was a joy to read (as always). After a long day at work, it was super refreshing to come and visit your blog. I want a plate of this now! I hope you are having a good start to your week. Much love and many hugs from Austin! Thank you for sharing your creative concoctions with me.

  60. Jeanette says:

    Joanne, such a funny post – love all the fresh vegetables in this wheat berry salad, such a nice way to use lots of summer vegetables in one dish!

  61. Deborah says:

    I’ll take red, white and green any day when it looks like this!

  62. Deborah says:

    I’ll take red, white and green any day when it looks like this!

  63. Kathleen says:

    This looks delicious and healthy. I’ll take this color combo any day!

  64. Viv says:

    hehe happy fourth! i hope you figured out which one of these options caused the confusion 😉

    im browsing through your site for some indian food inspiration…craving for it atm!

  65. grace says:

    so apparently your allegiance lies with italy, not america. and that’s okay. 🙂
    great dish, joanne!

  66. diet pills says:

    It’s funny how you made use of medical terms in describing the food you have prepared for the 4th of July and great thing your family did enjoy your recipe besides this is definitely healthy diet meal.

  67. Claudie says:

    I’ll bet on option 2, although, now I’ll have to, myself, look for a medical reason for all those times when I’ve done stg similar, confusing one obvious thing for another completely different one … I think I’ll need a pretty long list. 😉
    In any case, your salad is simply beautiful 🙂

  68. Johanna GGG says:

    yes please get an aussie complex and cook with our seasons – it is so weird seeing all the summer food when it is so cold here – though you know you will then have to make biscuits rather than cookies and confuse the bejesus out of your American compatriots (I do it all the time) – and yes please lots of fantastic salads like this one – looks delicious (and you would be kidding yourself if you thought you could find a red, white and blue salad)

  69. Kerstin says:

    What a flavorful and healthy salad! I actually have some wheat berries I got from a friend’s CSA last year and I still haven’t used them–eek, that makes me feel like a bad food blogger, so I’ll have make this 🙂

  70. Marisa says:

    Just call it Italian day salad and you’re good to go! Either way, I wouldn’t have any trouble gobbling it all up.

  71. Yum! I have a jar of wheat berries in my pantry and this looks like the perfect way to use them up. Who needs the blue anyway. 😉

    Thanks for sending your salad to Souper Sundays.

  72. Maria says:

    A gorgeous salad! So full of flavor and of course healthy for you.

  73. Anonymous says:

    Is it possible to post nutrition numbers (Carbs, sodium, protein, etc. for recipes? It would help me a lot as I am diabetic and carb counting in order to match my insulin…




  74. Ummm this looks like seriously the most delicious salad ever!! I never tire of grainy salads you can eat as a meal and am completely in love with wheat berries. AND I have a nice block of mozzarella in the fridge so I am making this this weekend!

  75. Kevin says:

    What a nice whole grain salad! I am liking all of the roasted veggies in it!

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