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Spelt Tabbouleh Salad

July 25, 2013
by Shannon Hepburn
This tabbouleh salad would be great paired with anything grilled, perfect for a potluck or good on its own for lunch.  Spelt is a high protein, high fiber grain with a delicately sweet & nutty flavor and deliciously chewy texture.
FYI, spelt is not a gluten-free grain, in fact spelt is a kind of wheat.  The cooking times for spelt vary depending on whether you choose to soak the grains first or cook them the standard way (without soaking). Pre-soaking will most likely reduce your total cooking time.  For more on soaking grains read here.
Variable cooking times also depend on your preference for doneness.  I chose a 3:1 ratio, 3 cups of water to 1 cup of dried spelt. You could also enrich the flavor of the grains by adding a bouillon cube or cooking in vegetable or chicken stock.   I have also read of people using a risotto technique of cooking the grains with the lid off and stirring frequently for 30 to 40 minutes – although, I have not yet tried this.
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Spelt Tabbouleh Salad
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Serves: 4 as a side, easily doubled
Ingredients
  • 1½ cups cooked whole spelt grains (1 cup dry spelt yields 2⅓ cups cooked grains) leftover grains may be added to salads or soups or frozen for later.
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups seeded and finely diced tomato
  • 1 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1 cup peeled, finely diced cucumber
  • ¼ cup thinly sliced scallions
  • ¼ cup sunflower oil or extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice; more to taste
Instructions
  1. Rinse your spelt in a colander under running cold water. Bring 3 cups of water and a generous pinch of salt to a boil in a saucepan and add the spelt. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for roughly 50 minutes. You may lift the lid and spoon out a few grains to check for doneness. Some people prefer a softer, more cooked grain while others like the bite of an al dente grain. When fully cooked, drain and set aside to cool for a bit.
  2. Toss the warm grains with the remaining ingredients and mix well. Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, lemon juice, scallions or herbs.

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