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Category: Soups and salads
Serving: 6-8
Preparation: 1:30
 

Winter calls for some soul warming food, the best time of the year to be living in UAE. They weather is just perfect to set the barbecue grills on fire. This is a perfect salad to be served along with your grills.

The sumac and pomegranate molasses roasted beets add a sweet and sour taste, the nutty aroma of Spelt, torn mint and crumbled goat cheese pairs well, buttery Hass avocados gives the salad a rounded finish. This could just be called 'winter on a plate' with an Arabesque touch... Enjoy!!!

Some interesting snippets on Spelt

An ancient grain,closely related to the common wheat(T. aestivum) can be traced back to the fifth millennium B.C. Popularly know as dinkel wheat or hulled wheat it was a staple in Europe all through the bronze age to medieval times.

Spelt grains are packed with manganese and a good source of protein, copper and zinc. Spelt had a special status of fertility during the Medieval times when it was cultivated widely in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.
Spelt flour is used in making breads and pasta. They have a nutty aroma and are delicious when had in a salad, soup or risotto. They tend well on the grill as a burger patty with some winter vegetables.

Ingredients

cooking Spelt

Spelt- 250g
thyme- 2 sprigs
vegetable stock- 800ml
olive oil- 2 tbsp
sea salt - to taste

roasting beets
beets- 500g
sumac- 2 tsp
pomegranate molasses- 1 tbsp
olive oil- 2-3 tbsp
sea salt- to taste
cracked pepper- to taste

mint- 12-15 leaves
goat cheese- 1/2 log
Hass avocado- 2 each
sea salt- to taste
cracked pepper- to taste
pomegranate molasses- a drizzle
olive oil- a generous drizzle

Method

cooking Spelt
1. Heat olive oil in a pan, add the spelt and saute just like cooking risotto, add thyme and keep adding just enough stock and cook till soft.
2. This should take about 35-40 minutes, season with sea salt towards the end.Spread them out on a tray and allow to cool.

roasting beets
3. Pre heat oven to 175C. Pell and cut the beets into wedges. Place them on a tray layered with parchment.
4. Sprinkle sumac, sea salt, cracked pepper and drizzle pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Gently massage and pop into the oven for 15- 50 minutes, remove the tray and turn the beets around and bake for the same time the other side. They will look shriveled which is what we need. Allow them to cool.
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5. Slide a sharp knife around the Hass avocadoes, twist open into half, with the base of your knife pop the seed. Scoop and cut them into bite sized chunks. drizzle olive oil to keep them away from oxidation.
6. Tear the min leaves and soak them in ice cold water.
7. In a bowl place the Spelt, roasted beets,torn mint leaves, drizzle pomegranate molasses, olive oil and season with a hint of sumac,sea salt, cracked pepper and taste. If you require more add to taste.
8. Place them on a big platter and top up with avocado chunks and crumbled goat cheese.

Serving Ideas

A glass of robust Egervin "Bull's Blood" from Hungary will pair just well.

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