A colorful, flavor-packed salad boasting all the best this season has to offer, this is a great fall picnic or potluck candidate. If you can remember, soak the spelt berries overnight to speed up cook time; if you forget, you’ll simply want to let them cook an additional 15–20 minutes, until tender.
Serves: 4–6 | Start to Finish: 80 minutes
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon honey
1 small shallot, finely minced (about 2 tablespoons)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
generous pinch kosher salt
1 cup spelt berries, soaked overnight
1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 small apples, sliced into 1/2-inch wedges, then sliced further in thirds to make small chunks
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
3/4 cup Italian parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped
1 1/2 ounces grated Parmesan (about 3/4 cup)
Maldon or other flaky sea salt, for finishing
In a medium saucepan, bring soaked spelt berries and 3 cups water to a hearty simmer. Reduce heat and cover, cooking until grains are tender yet still chewy and most of the liquid has evaporated, 45–60 minutes. If there is excess liquid after the spelt is finished cooking, strain it away. Remove from heat and cool (room temperature or slightly warm is ideal for this salad).
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Add apples and pinch of salt. Cook, stirring until apples begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add honey and thyme and continue cooking until apples turn golden and become fragrant and tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile make the dressing: whisk together all ingredients and set aside.
In a large salad bowl, toss together the cooled spelt berries, honeyed apples, parsley, basil, and pecans. Pour the dressing on top of the salad and fold to incorporate. Top with grated Parmesan. The salad is best served at room temperature, but will keep refrigerated for up to 3 days.