Recipe: Spelt with spiced roasted caulflower

This vegan salad is bursting with healthy wholegrains, herbs and seeds


Photo: Nassima Rothacker

Spelt is a wonderful wholegrain that can be used in much the same way as rice. It absorbs flavours as it cooks, which makes it perfect for risotto-style dishes or salads. The grains have a slightly nutty flavour and almost chewy texture and are a good source of fibre.


Prep: 20 minutes

Cook: 1 hour


1 cauliflower

2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil

1 tbsp za’atar

1 onion

1 small leek

1 fat garlic clove, crushed

150g pearled spelt

500ml vegetable stock

1 bay leaf

50g blanched hazelnuts, roughly chopped

25g pistachios, roughly chopped

25g pumpkin seeds

50g sultanas

1 tbsp pomegranate molasses

Squeeze of lemon juice

2 tbsp roughly chopped coriander

2 tbsp roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tbsp pomegranate seeds

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 180° fan/200°C.
  • Cut the cauliflower florets and leaves into bite-size pieces. Tip the florets into a large bowl (save the leaves for later), drizzle with 1 tbsp rapeseed oil, add the za’atar and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Mix to thoroughly coat the cauliflower in the spices, arrange on a large parchment-lined baking tray and roast in the oven for about 30 minutes, turning after 15 minutes, until tender and starting to brown at the edges.
  • Meanwhile, cook the spelt. Finely chop the onion and leek, tip into a large saucepan, add 1 tbsp rapeseed oil and cook over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Rinse the spelt in a sieve under cold running water and add to the pan with the stock and bay leaf. Season, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the spelt is tender and most of the stock has been absorbed.
  • Add the roughly chopped cauliflower leaves, nuts, pumpkin seeds, sultanas and pomegranate molasses to the cauliflower florets, mix to coat and roast for a further 5 minutes until the leaves are softened and starting to brown at the edges.
  • Tip the cauliflower mixture into the spelt, add a squeeze of lemon juice and most of the herbs and gently mix to combine. Spoon onto a large platter, scatter with the pomegranate seeds and remaining herbs and serve.

    Recipe adapted from: Eat More Vegan (Pavilion Books).
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