Monday, March 17, 2008

Apple and Spelt Berry Salad

Happy St Patrick's Day! Not that there is anything very Irish about this salad. But, as shown above, it does happen to have a few green ingredients.

Maybe spelt berries are not the most common salad ingredient, but I would like to change that. They are chewy, nutty in flavor, and are a nutritious whole grain. Spelt has been around at least 9 thousand years and is an ancient relative of wheat. Speaking of wheat, you could also use wheat berries or kamut berries or the such for this recipe. Also, if I can't convince you to try spelt berries, but the rest of the salad looks interesting, you could add about a 1/2 cup of chopped nuts as a substitute.

Apple and Spelt Berry Salad
inspired by the deli at Native Sun Natural Foods in Jacksonville, FL

1 cup cooked spelt berries (cooking instructions below)
2 or 3 Granny Smith or green apples, cored and sliced
2 stalks of celery, sliced
1/4 to 1/2 cup dried cherries or cranberries or raisins
1/3 cup plain yogurt or mayonnaise
2 tablespoons cream cheese, ricotta or small curd cottage cheese (to thicken it a bit)
2 tablespoons fresh lime or lemon juice
2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
1/2 to 1 teaspoon apple pie spice, to taste (apple pie spice is a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice)

1. To cook the spelt berries: boil 1 1/2 cups water, then add 1/2 cup uncooked spelt berries. Cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about an hour and a half, until tender. Drain any remaining liquid and cool before adding to the salad. (A tip: make a larger batch and put some in the freezer for a future salad).

2. Make the dressing by whisking together or blending until smooth the yogurt or mayo, the cream cheese, lime juice, and honey. Add some apple pie spice. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

3. In a large bowl toss the sliced apples, celery, spelt berries and dried cherries with the dressing until everything is coated. Serve immediately or chill first in the refrigerator and then serve.
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Kevin said...

I have never had spelt berry. I will have to look for it. The salad looks really good.

Madelyn said...

This looks delicious... I have used spelt flour to bake, but I have not noticed spelt berries in my natural food market. I will look for them soon and try this salad.

ttfn300 said...

I made this today and it was absolutely fantastic!!! Thanks for the recipe :)