Fall Grain Salad with butternut, shitake, leek, sage and brown butter

fall grain saladI love hearty winter wheat berries , the little brown grains have such a wonderful spring-back after cooking, and hold-up to heavier additions in a fall or winter salad. Last evening I was looking for a recipe that could incorporate my fall ingredients – leeks, butternut squash, sage, and some dried shitake mushrooms, but nothing seemed quite right. So I just made one up. This is a perfect comforting, hearty lunch if you’re stuck in an office with a microwave. And if I had a log of goat cheese, I might have put some in, but it’s delicious without.

Fall Grain Salad with butternut, shitake, leek, sage and brown butter

2 cups cooked hard winter wheat berries (you can actually cook these in your rice cooker!)

2 cups roasted butternut squash cubes (about 1/2 of a medium squash)

1 large leek

butter

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/8 cup fresh sage leaves, chopped

1/4 c. dried shitake mushrooms

white wine

salt and pepper

While the winter wheat is cooking is the squash is roasting, thinly slice the leek, up to the leaves, and saute on medium-low heat in butter (or oil) until it softens. Add the chopped garlic and sage,  and saute until the garlic softens. In a separate saucepan, melt 1 Tbs. butter (if you are using oil, skip this step). Allow the butter to cook, periodically scraping the saucepan, until it becomes brown and toasty. Stir-in the dried mushroom, and then add 1 cup of white wine. Allow to simmer until the sauce reduces to about 1/2 cup. Combine the winter wheat, squash, leeks, and mushrooms with sauce together. Salt and pepper to taste.