Spelt in its hulled whole grain form is often referred to as spelt berries. Its deep nutty flavor and rustic, firm texture makes it a great side dish that can replace rice at the table, makes an excellent cooked breakfast cereal as well as the base for this fresh, nutritious salad.
- 2 cups spelt berries
- 1/2 sweet onion finely chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes halved
- 1/2 cup fresh chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh snipped chives
- 2 tablespoons vinegar (cider, white balsamic or sherry vinegar)
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Soak the spelt berries in cold water for at least one hour or overnight. Drain and rinse thoroughly under running water. Place in a large, heavy pot and add 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook until the berries are tender and the water is absorbed, about 30 to 35 minutes. Uncover and set aside for about an hour until slightly cooled.
Transfer the cooled spelt berries to a large bowl. Add the onion, tomatoes, parsley and chives. In a small bowl, make vinaigrette by whisking together the vinegar and olive oil. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and whisk to combine. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat all the ingredients. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with slender chive leaves. Serve at room temperature or chill for at least 3 hours.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Special note: Spelt berries must be rinsed and soaked in water for at least one hour or up to 8 hours before cooking. Good to know for your menu planning.