I have a cupboard full of half-eaten bags of grains, rice, pulses and lentils. Bags are piled up on top of each other as there is just no room to put things in neatly. I’m always thinking I should sort through it and methodically eat up all the half-started bags but I need a bit of a push to actually do that.
This month the push came when the #RecipeRedux challenge was to discover one of those ingredients hanging around at the back of the cupboards and to give it a little attention by transforming it into a delicious healthy meal. I picked out a bag of spelt which had probably been siting there for about 4 years!
Now, I love caprese salad but for me it’s not filling enough to eat for a meal, not even a light meal. I decided to use the spelt to bulk out the salad and make it both healthy and filling enough to stop me reaching for the snacks half way through the afternoon. I added lentils to the caprese salad too to make it a little more interesting.
Even when properly cooked spelt can be quite chewy, but with the lentils the overall texture is just right. I ate this for lunch two days in a row and it kept really well in the fridge. The flavours became even better overnight.
The one problem with spelt is that it does take quite a long time to cook. However, I’ve discovered you can pre-soak it to reduce the cooking time so next time that is something I’m going to do. I loved the chewy texture and slightly nutty flavour in the salad. Now I’ve rediscovered spelt, I only hope that bag of spelt will not still be there next year because without this challenge I am sure it would have been.
Ingredients – Serves 2
50g dried spelt
50g dried green lentils
3 tomatoes, chopped
1 ball mozzarella, pulled apart
Handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
How to Make Spelt and Lentil Caprese Salad
1. Cook the spelt and lentils according to the pack instructions. I needed to boil the spelt for just over an hour and the lentils for about 25 minutes. Drain and leave to cool.
2. Mix all the ingredients together. Add extra oil, vinegar or seasoning if necessary.