Monday, October 4, 2010

Vegan Butternut Wheatberry Torte

I am a woman on a mission. A woman on a mission to use all the winter veg I can think of. I am currently obsessed with pumpkin and have an amazingly long list of pumpkin recipes that I will be pleasing you with. I'm also practicing some new holiday-ish recipes for my upcoming submission to Grow Northwest. Remember that amazing magazine I wrote for a few months back? Yep! I'm on again. And I want to make it fabulous.

Pumpkin. This recipe was supposed to be all about pumpkin but Noodle Nose was tired and wanted to come home for a rest this afternoon after a rousing adventure through Costco and all the samples he could stomach. It's a kid's candy (sample) store in that place. For me? Not so much.

So instead of pumpkin I'm going to go ahead and feature another of my favorite gourds... la butternut squash. In scouring my pantry for the perfect 'significant other' for my butternut squash I came across the wheatberry samples that Kelli from Joseph's Grainery gave me at IFBC. I actually pondered them yesterday but have been wanting to save them for something fantastical. Hopefully this dish will do it justice. Thank you Kelli, for the fantastic wheatberries!

I also decided to add two of my favorite greens to this unique dish: broccoli... I can't get enough. I may have a problem. A problem I'm ok with. And of course, sunflower sprouts. My last hoorah of summer... I lurve them and am seriously pondering sprouting my own. That and a winter garden.

This torte was super flavorful with the combination of the butternut squash, fennel and parsley. Then add the chewiness of the wheatberries and crisp of the shell and you have this: A winner. Here's what Honey said, 'It's good.' Actually he had all these fantastic things to say and now that I'm asking him to repeat it he apparently can't.

It's good.

Yield 5 tarts

1 cup wheatberries (Joseph's Grainery!)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup vegetable broth or mushroom broth PLUS 1/2 cup for later
1 batch vegan quiche crust (note: the recipe you're going to specifies a pie dish; for this recipe I used mini tartlet pans. Same batch size, different pan)
Extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped or smashed
1 shallot, diced
2 Cups butternut squash, raw and cubed
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/2 cup sun dried tomatoes, strained of most of the oil
1/4 cup parsley pesto (Remember this? I told you... it gets around!! I make a bunch and freeze it so it's ready to use whenever I want)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon fennel
2 green onions, chopped
About 1 1/2 cups sunflower sprouts
1 Tablespoon truffle oil (can use extra virgin also)
2 Tablespoons champagne vinaigrette
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Rinse your wheatberries and put them in a pot with the water and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce and simmer, covered until liquid is absorbed. Then turn off stove, cover and let sit until next step.

Make your quiche crust at this point.

In a saute pan, heat some extra virgin olive oil, then add the garlic and shallots. Saute for about 3 minutes then add the cubed butternut squash. Cover and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occassionally, to ensure even cooking.

When squash is soft, turn off heat and add to to pot of wheatberries. Turn heat on low then add sun dried tomatoes and parsley pesto and stir to combine. Cover and let cook.

Add the remaining 1/2 cup vegetable broth, oregano and fennel. Stir and cover to infuse the flavors. After a few minutes give it a taste. Add salt and pepper as needed. p.s. you will need to add salt, at least.

When everything is soft, give it a light mash with a potato masher. The goal is to make the texture fairly consistent for packing into the torte shells.

Turn off the heat and prepare to stuff your torte shells.

Scoop your filling into each torte shell, pressing it into the shell as you fill. Don't be afraid to fill the little guy; there's plenty of room since it doesn't  rise or bubble.

Once filled, put your tortes in the oven at 400 (same temp you pre cooked your shells on) and bake, covered with foil for 25 minutes. At 25 minutes, remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and let cool.

While your tortes are cooling, rinse the sunflower sprouts and put them in a bowl with the green onion.

In a jar, combine the olive oil, champagne vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake the heck out of it. There is no such thing as too much shaking when it comes to this jar.

Pour half of the dressing onto the sunflower sprout/green onion mix and toss.

To serve this little darling, pop the torte out of its shell and place it on a plate. Top with the sunflower sprout/green onion mix and add your side.

For our side we stuck with good old steamed broccoli. You could also make the torte the side dish. It's versatile like that.

For fun you could also make mini tartlets in a mini muffin tin and serve these beauties as sweet little bite sized appetizers. My favorite.

I thought the flavor profile was outstanding; fitting for a variety of tastes... Noodle loved it and Honey thought the 'look' was simple but the flavor was amazing.

Butternut Squash



  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. So glad you had fun with the wheat berries! This looks delicious. Shared your post on the JG facebook page!!/pages/Colfax-WA/wwwjosephsgrainerycom/147926597940

  3. Didn't know that sunflower sprouts are edible. I thought it's purslane when I saw the picture, they are so alike. And your torte looks amazing!

  4. I always WANT to take the time to cook wheatberries, but I never do! Bah! That needs to change.

  5. Look at that, just lovely. Amazing presentation of this fabulous torte. All the flavors work perfect.

  6. Ellen,

    I sent you my post to your gmail account. Please let me know if you got it...

  7. Hi I just came across you blog, I think I am going to try this recipe.

  8. Kelli... I was so excited to use them! I was waiting for something fun and special :) Thanks again!!

    Zerrin... Sunflower sprouts, yes! And they're so good ;) Thank you! and thanks for stopping by :)

    Jennifurla... thank you! I always love seeing your comments here :)

    Amber... do it! Wheatberries are some of my favorites!

    Laz... thank you thank you! It was quite tasty and the sunflower sprouts were a fun addition :)

    Madebymum... so glad you're here!! Definitely try it and come by often :)



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