This is a Canadian spin on a delicious, super-healthy salad I was taught to prepare in Italy many years ago and still make often during the summer. The original was made using farro, broad beans and olive oil, which I have replaced with spelt (essentially what farro is), peas, and extra-virgin rapeseed (canola) oil. The only ingredient I have not been able to successfully replace is lemon juice, which even the best-quality apple cider vinegar cannot substitute for!
For a non-vegan version, a shaving of parmesan or similar cheese is a delicious addition.
200g whole spelt
500g fresh pea pods
3T extra virgin rapeseed or olive oil
Juice of one lemon
50g rocket, washed and dried
- Soak spelt in cold water for at least one half hour before cooking.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add drained spelt, bring back to boil, reduce heat to a fast simmer and cover. Cook spelt until al dente (20 to 30 minutes, depending on how long soaked. A good hour if not pre-soaked).
- While spelt is cooking, shell the peas. Cook in a separate pot of boiling salted, water for a scant two minutes. Drain, then briefly plunge beans into a bowl of cold water. Drain and reserve.
- When spelt is ready, drain well and put into a large serving bowl.
- Add oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. (Note that it important to add these while the spelt is warm, in order for the flavours to get absorbed into the grain.) If not ready for service, the spelt can be refrigerated though it is preferable to bring to room temperature before adding rest of the ingredients.
- Add the peas, rocket and cheese (if using) and serve immediately.
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