According to the forecast, we’re on the verge of the first heat wave of the season, during which I plan to avoid consuming any and all hot foods. That means chilled soups, beer, and this summery yogurt parfait.
This refreshing breakfast is a riff on a dish from Sofra Bakery and Cafe in Cambridge. There, chef Ana Sortun layers a fruity compote, Greek yogurt, and grano, which is Italian for “grain” and reminiscent of barley. The result is spoonful after tangy, hearty spoonful of nutty flavor and a variety of textures.
I’ve written about my love for Sofra in the past, but it’s not always feasible (or financially responsible) for me to visit as often as I’d like. So I came up with my own version of this dish, swapping out the grano for wheat berries, which are less expensive and easier to find.
If you’re not familiar with wheat berries, here’s a quick rundown: They’re not berries at all. They’re actually a high-fiber, nutrient-rich whole grain. Boiling and simmering wheat berries softens them considerably, but they’ll still retain some firmness, which is why it’s important to taste them before turning off your burner. Undercook these little kernels and they feel like chewing on rubber, so make sure they’ve cooked through before you drain them.
In addition to tasting great and cooling you off, this breakfast has another cool perk. The versatile, fruity compote also tastes great on another heat wave-approved snack: ice cream!
Rhubarb Compote, Wheat Berries, and Greek Yogurt Parfait
Serves about 6
1 cup wheat berries
10 ounces rhubarb, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon water
¼ cup orange juice
½ cup sugar
2 teaspoons grated ginger
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1. Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Add wheat berries, bring water back to boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook until wheat berries are slightly chewy and soft, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Drain, transfer to bowl, and allow to cool to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, combine rhubarb, water, orange juice, sugar, and ginger in medium saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce heat to simmer and cook until rhubarb is soft, about 30 minutes.
3. Transfer compote to bowl and stir in lemon juice. Allow to cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until needed. (The compote will thicken as it cools.)
4. To assemble parfait, layer Greek yogurt, rhubarb compote, and wheat berries, in that order, in bowl or mug.