This Radicchio Fennel Spelt Salad is the perfect winter salad. It can be enjoyed both warm or cold. Radicchio is wonderful in any winter salad. I love it raw, thinly sliced in a salad, but lately I have been braising it in the oven with garlic, rosemary and balsamic vinegar. It’s the best thing ever. When braised, the radicchio gets an intense and subtly bitter aroma. For this salad, all vegetables are roasted in olive oil and balsamic vinegar until browned and caramelised. I love the nutty, sweetness of the Jerusalem artichokes and oven-roasted fennel is just beautiful, slightly sweet with a hint of aniseed. Pearled spelt works perfect with these roasted winter vegetables. It’s nutty with a chewy bite. I love spelt. As I am sensitive to (wheat) gluten, whole grain spelt is something I tolerate quite well. Please note that spelt does contain gluten so if you are intolerant, I suggest substituting spelt for millet or quinoa. I eat this salad at room-temperature as an appetizer but I also love eating it cold the next day for lunch. If you eat dairy, sprinkling some salted ricotta or shaved Parmesan cheese on top over this Radicchio Fennel Spelt Salad can be a really wonderful addition.
- 1 cup of pearled spelt
- 1 cube of vegetable stock
- three cups of water
- 1 head of raddichio, roughly shredded
- 3 Jerusalem artichokes, peeled and cut into bite-size chunks
- 1 bulb fennel, cut into bite-size chunks
- 3 rosemary sprigs
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
- 4 shallots, peeled and quartered
- 20 baby tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- freshly crushed black pepper and sea salt
- 1/4 cup salted ricotta or shaved Pecorino cheese (optional)
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees
- Add fennel, shallots, garlic, Jerusalem artichoke and baby tomatoes (open side up) a single in a large baking tray. Sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and season with black pepper and salt. Top with rosemary sprigs. Roast vegetables for 40-50 minutes or until caramelised, stirring every once in a while.
- For the last 10 minutes, remove the rosemary sprigs and add the radicchio and pine nuts. Sprinkle with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Roast in the oven for 10 more minutes.When done, remove from the oven and allow to cool down.
- In a medium-sized saucepan, bring vegetable stock to a boil. Add rinsed spelt, lower heat and allow to simmer for 20 minutes or until cooked al dente. Add more stock if necessary.
- In a large salad bowl, mix the spelt with the vegetables. Season with freshly crushed black pepper and sea salt. Drizzle with a high-quality extra virgin olive before serving. Serve with salted ricotta or shaved Parmesan on top (optional).