This recipe is from Renee Elliott in Me, You and the Kids Too
This Tuscan Spelt Salad recipe is perfect for a family with you children. The main spelt salad is a great summer meal for adults and older kids. And you can use the same ingredients to make meals for children aged 6 to 9 months, a nutritious Courgette Puree, and for children between 9 months and a year there’s a Courgette, Fennel and Red Onion Herb Mix. That way, the whole family can eat a healthy meal together!
I first tried spelt salad in Tuscany. Friends nearby invited us to a picnic on a roasting hot summer day near a freezing mountain stream. After we had all cooled off, we shared out the food we had brought. Our friend Susanna offered spelt salad for us to try, which is a classic dish in the region.
Tuscan Spelt Salad
Serves: 2 adults, 1 child and 1 baby
Preparation time:20 minutes, plus at least 7 hours soaking (optional)
Cooking time:35–45 minutes
Storage: Refrigerate for up to 3 days.
150g/5½oz/¾cup wholemeal spelt grain
¾ tbsp natural yogurt or kefir, for soaking (optional)
1 tsp fine sea salt
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
250g/9oz mozzarella cheese, diced
1 large tomato, chopped
1 courgette, quartered lengthways and sliced
1 fennel bulb, chopped
1 small red onion, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely chopped
3 tbsp chopped parsley leaves
2 tbsp finely chopped mint leaves
1. If soaking the spelt grain, put the spelt grain and yogurt in a large saucepan and cover generously with warm water. Leave to soak, covered, for 7 hours or overnight at room temperature. Drain and rinse the grains, then return to the pan and add 375ml/13fl oz/1½ cups water.
2. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 30–35 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grains are tender but not mushy. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
(If cooking unsoaked spelt grain, put the spelt grain and 455ml/16fl oz/scant 2 cups water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil over a high heat. Turn the heat down to low and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the grains are tender but not mushy. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.)
3. Add the salt, oil and white wine vinegar and mix well. Leave to cool slightly, then add all of the remaining ingredients and mix well.
6 to 9 months – Courgette Puree
Put ½ of the sliced courgette in a steamer and steam, covered, for 10 minutes until completely soft. Transfer to a blender and add 2 tablespoons water. Blend for 30 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until smooth. Mix in 1 teaspoon of the oil and serve warm.
9 to 12 months – Courgette, Fennel, Red Onion and Herb Mix
Put ½ of the sliced courgette, 1 tablespoon of the fennel and 1 teaspoon of the onion in a steamer and steam, covered, for 10 minutes until completely soft. Transfer to a blender and add a pinch each of the parsley and mint leaves and 2 tablespoons water. Pulse for 15 seconds, adding extra water 1 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture forms a lumpy purée. Mix in 1 teaspoon of the oil and serve warm.
Serve either warm or cold.
‘Renée Elliott’s cookbook is a kitchen essential for new moms and for those who need a little inspiration on how to feed the entire family.’
Cooking for a family can be a huge challenge that leaves you feeling like you’re always making compromises. In Me, You and the Kids Too, Renée Elliott makes this do-able. She shows that you don’t have to cook different recipes to please everyone at the table – and that you never have to sacrifice flavour or nutrition to get meals made without stress.
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