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Spelt is nowadays becoming really fashionable. Every single cool bakery proudly shows loafs of crunchy spelt bread or tasty cookies, and it became a must among hipsters and eco freaks. There are three main varieties of spelt (Triticum dicoccum, T. monococcum, T. spelta) and you can find it either in flours or grains (avoid the pearled one as it is refined). Anyhow it belongs to the same family of wheat: it thus contains gluten, which makes it suitable for baking. What you may not know is that Ancient Romans really loved this cereal and used it to prepare small pies served during wedding ceremonies or offered to gods.
So why to prefer it to its more common and known “cousin” wheat? Is it just fashion? Not really. Spelt, compared to wheat, contains a slightly higher amount of proteins and minerals and it has been less manipulated throughout centuries (this is why is considered an “ancient grain”). Moreover, it doesn’t generate such a big Dampness as wheat does, according to TCM, and has a warmer energy, directed to Spleen/Stomach and also Liver, speeding up digestion.
Here we propose you to try it in a warm salad with grilled vegetables, olive oil, basil and lemon juice, which makes it fresher and perfect for summer parties.
By the way, this dish is vegan and yes, maybe a bit hipster too!
Serves 6 -Easy– Prep time: 55 minutes
You will need:
- 500 g spelt;
- 2 aubergines;
- 4 carrots;
- 3 courgettes;
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil;
- fresh juice of 2 lemons;
- a handful of fresh basil;
- soy sauce for dressing.
- Cook the spelt in double amount of boiling water;
- cover it and let it absorb the water, without stirring, for about 45-50 minutes;
- when the water has dried up, mix and try the spelt, in case add some more hot water and let it cook a little bit longer;
- in the meanwhile chop the vegetables in cubes (2×2 cm);
- turn on the fire and put a griddle to heat;
- grill the vegetables on all sides until they turn brownish;
- after they are ready, let the vegetables marinate with olive oil, lemon juice and basil for a couple of hours;
- mix the cooked spelt with the marinated vegetables;
- Serve either warm or cold, and add a bit of soy sauce to give a bit of salt.