Friday, May 7, 2010

Insalata di Farro (Spelt Salad)

I bought a package of spelt the other day (available near other cereal grains like oats in the supermarket), and I am so excited to try out some recipes with it. This ancient grain is incredibly versatile, and packed with nutrition - fiber, Vitamins A, B, C, and E, as well as calcium and iron.

To start this recipe, make the dressing: in a bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, 2 tablespoons vegetable broth, 1 and 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and 1 crushed garlic clove; set aside.

Rinse 1 and 1/4 cups uncooked spelt in a sieve, then drain and transfer to a saucepan. Add 1 and 1/2 cups vegetable broth and 1 cup water; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer. The original recipe said to simmer for 25 minutes, but at the end of 25, there was still a fair amount of liquid left in my saucepan. This didn't make sense, since I knew I wasn't supposed to drain off any excess liquid, and assumed the spelt should have had time to absorb it all. A quick look online showed that spelt is often cooked for closer to 50 minutes. So I continued to let it simmer, and indeed, at the end of 50 minutes, the liquid had all absorbed.

Meanwhile, cut 1 cup of 1-inch green beans, and 3/4 cups of sliced carrot. Cook the vegetables in boiling water until crisp-tender (about 4 to 5 minutes), then drain. Rinse with cold water and drain again.

Combine the cooked spelt and the cooked beans and carrots in a large bowl with 1/2 cup frozen green peas (thawed in advance), 1/2 cup frozen corn (thawed in advance), 1/2 cup drained and chopped marinated artichoke hearts (such as Native Forest), 1/4 cup pitted ripe (black) olives, 1/4 cup pitted green olives, and 1 (7-ounce) bottle of drained and chopped roasted red bell peppers.

Note: the original recipe made it seem as though the olives should stay whole, but I chopped mine in half so they would be closer inside to the other tidbits in the salad.

Pour the dressing over the spelt mixture, and stir well to coat. You should let the salad stand for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, before serving. However, it's actually even yummier if you make it a whole day in advance, so the flavors can blend. Then, serve it either chilled or at room temperature.

1 cup of salad is 240 calories. Look for some more spelt recipes soon!

flat-leaf parsley $3.99
spelt $4.99
green beans $0.66
carrots $0.65
frozen green peas $2.00
marinated artichoke hearts $2.99
black olives $1.39
green olives $1.99
bottled roasted red bell peppers $2.79

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance