Thursday, December 19, 2013

Spelt and Arugula Salad

Spelt and Arugula salad with Roasted Root vegetables
We were travelling earlier in the month and sometimes it is hard to get back into a routine, especially when it comes to cooking and preparing plant based meals.  While on vacation, we did have some wonderfully prepared meals that were vegetarian, but not vegan.  We are now back on track with our ‘vegan at home’ diet, with only an occasional lapse.  I recently saw this recipe, a farro salad, which looked delicious and is easily made vegan.  I used spelt berries instead of farro, only because that was what I had in my pantry.  The spelt berries gave the dish a hearty, chewy texture, just right for a cold December evening.  In addition, I served roasted root vegetables, so not only was our meal filling and vegan, but colorful for the holidays.  My tasting partner was delighted with my efforts.
recipe after the jump

Spelt and Arugula Salad

1 cup spelt berries (options include farro, wild rice, quinoa or another gluten free grain)
3 cups of water or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt, more as needed
2 bay leaves

8 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
½ cup chopped pistachio nuts
5 ounces baby arugula leaves
1 cup parsley or basil leaves, torn
1 cup mint leaves, torn
¾ cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1/3 cup thinly sliced radish

½ cup Parmesan cheese, shaved with a vegetable peeler (optional, not vegan)

1. In a medium saucepan, bring spelt, 3 cups of water or stock, bay leaves and salt to a simmer.  Cover and simmer until spelt is done, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours, adding more liquid if needed.  Follow package directions if using another grain.  Remove bay leaves and let cool.

2. In a salad bowl, whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Add spelt and pistachio nuts and mix well. This salad base will keep for up to 4 hours at room temperature or overnight in the refrigerator (bring to room temperature before serving). Just before serving, fold in arugula, herbs, tomatoes, and radish slices.

3. Top with shaved parmesan cheese if desired.

YIELD   6 servings

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