Wheatberry and Mushroom Risotto-esque Pilaf

This recipe has been cooking in my head for about a week. It came out pretty good! The texture of the wheatberries is divine, and the flavors blend nicely. I had access to oyster mushrooms and shallots, so I used them, but this dish would definitely still be good using their less fancy cousins. Also, dairy can be omitted.

2 cups dry wheatberries (whole wheat grains)
4 cups water
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs butter (can substitute oil or margarine)
6 shallots, sliced (can substitute 1 onion)
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
25-30 oyster mushrooms (can substitute button), sliced
1 large bunch fresh spinach or chard (optional), rinsed and chopped
10 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
1/2 cup white wine, or cooking sherry
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled (optional)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
parsley and cherry tomatoes for garnish

1) Cook wheatberries in water until tender.

2) In a large frying pan or pot, over medium heat, add olive oil and optional butter/margarine.

3) Add shallots, and cook until translucent.

4) Add mushrooms, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until mushrooms are tender.

5) When mushrooms are tender, add spinach and garlic, and cook until the spinach turns bright green.

6) Add cooked wheatberries and white wine. Cook about 10 minutes, until wine is absorbed.

&) Add cheeses and mix. Garnish with sliced cherry tomatoes and a sprig of parsley on plated portions. Serve immediately, and enjoy!

Note: Too much parsley will overpower the flavor of the dish, but a very small bit adds… user discretion is advised!

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