Recipe: Easy Spelt Salad

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If you’re looking for an easy lunch idea for on-the-go, this salad is great because it keeps well in the fridge throughout the work week and lets you skip the long line to the microwave! You could also serve this salad as a side to chicken or fish. This recipe is versatile and can be adjusted however you like—you can even make it vegan and gluten-free! Check out my suggested variations at the end of this post for ideas and let us know what you think in the comments.

Yield: 4 servings (if having for lunch) or 6 servings (if serving as a side dish)
Prep time: 20 min
Total time: 9-11 hours

Equipment:

  • 3-quart saucepan with lid

  • Measuring cups and spoons

  • Wooden spoon

  • Small bowl

  • Garlic press (optional)

  • Fork or mini whisk

  • Chef’s knife

  • Cutting board

  • Large mixing bowl

  • Fine mesh strainer

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry spelt berries

  • 4 cups water

  • 3 Tbsp olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed or minced

  • Salt and pepper (to taste)

  • 1 pint of grape tomatoes (2 cups)

  • 1 small red onion (1/2 cup finely diced)

  • 1 package of fresh basil (40 g)

  • 1/2 cup canned no-salt-added chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1/4 cup cow’s milk feta (regular feta may be used but will increase sodium content)

 

Note: Plan to make this recipe a day ahead so you can soak the spelt. Add 1 cup spelt berries to a bowl and cover with water. Leave it to rest overnight (8-10 hours) and cook the next day.

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse the soaked spelt. In a saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil on high-heat. Once boiling, add the soaked spelt, stir, and reduce to low-heat to simmer for 45-50 minutes. While the spelt cooks, prepare the rest of the salad.

  2. In a small bowl, prepare the vinaigrette by whisking together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, crushed (or minced) garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

  3. Wash and quarter the grape tomatoes by cutting each tomato in half and again lengthwise. Add your quartered tomatoes to the large mixing bowl. Peel the red onion and cut off the stem (tip) of the onion. Cut the onion in half from top to bottom, lay flat side down, then make thin slices just up to the root end. Finely dice the onion and add to the large mixing bowl. Pile your basil leaves into a stack, roll tightly, and slice into thin ribbons (chiffonade). Add your basil ribbons to the large mixing bowl.

  4. Add the chickpeas into the bowl with your veggies. Once the spelt has finished cooking, it should be chewy or al dente. Drain the spelt and allow it to cool completely, then add it to the large mixing bowl followed by your vinaigrette and feta. Mix well, taste, and adjust seasonings as needed.

  5. Serve cold. This salad can be served immediately or kept refrigerated for up to 5 days.

Check out the video for this recipe here.

Variations:

  • To make gluten-free, swap spelt for a gluten-free grain like quinoa or amaranth (preparation methods will vary)

  • To make vegan/dairy-free, swap feta for a sprinkle of olives or capers

  • Swap basil for dill or parsley

  • Add extra veggies like kale, cucumber, or zucchini

  • Serve warm as a stuffing for peppers and top with extra cheese

Nutrition facts are for a lunch serving (splitting recipe into 4 portions). If split into 6 portions, each serving will have 210 calories.

Nutrition facts are for a lunch serving (splitting recipe into 4 portions). If split into 6 portions, each serving will have 210 calories.

Ryan Stallard