Monday, 25 August 2008

Hey hey, it's supergrains day - Greek salad with spelt

When is spelt not farro? Or farro not spelt? My Wholegrains diet miracle book is pretty clear that they're different - although farro is an ancient relative of spelt - but when I found a tin of spelt in the new local posh supermarket, the main ingredients was listed as 'farro'. I'm confused. Anyway, both are very ancient grains, and full of good stuff, especially fibre and B vitamins. Spelt can even reduce the incidence of migraines because of its high riboflavin content. So I think we're covered on all fronts there. I used my tin of spelt/farro to make a salad based on one in Wholegrains diet miracle. It was described as a take on Greek salad, and since my felt/sparrow was already cooked it was an absolute cinch to make. I just mixed the grains with a little lemon juice and dried dill (sadly I didn't have any of the lovely frondy fresh stuff), chopped up some cucumber, spring onion and feta cheese, and served it on rocket leaves. And guess what? I have a new favourite grain - although I appreciate I do say this every time I try a new grain (except the amaranth, which was entirely over-rate in my opinion). It's got that nice chewy texture that barley does so well, but with a little more bite. It went really well with the saltiness of the cheese and the crunch of the cucumber and was interesting and filling enough to make a very tasty lunch. I had it on its own, and The Scientist and Munchkin Granny had it with baked marinated salmon and new potatoes. We followed it up with elderflower and gooseberry crumble which I forgot to take a photo of, but was very good.

This meal was our Bank Holiday Monday lunch and we felt very classy eating something so sophisticated. We needed a bit of sophistication as we spent last Friday in the rowdy West Stand at Headingley Cricket Ground, watching England beat South Africa in a day/night match. Watching the audience there is almost as good as watching the cricket. I saw a team of bananamen, a troupe of knights, a penguin, lots of superheroes of dubious pedigree, and even more drunk fans spending their time making 'snakes' out of empty beer glasses. And that's not even considering the bizarre array of finger wiggles and leg thumps which denote the umpires' decisions. Cricket - it's as mad as the English summer weather, but you've got to love it. The Scientist has been practising improving a novice's knowledge of the game on me over the years, and he's now ready to take on the family Yank. Next summer's Headingley highlight: Eco Bro does International Cricket. I must start sourcing matching bananamen costumes.


Johanna said...

Spelt and farro are confusing to me too but at the end of the day it is how it tastes (and that you can ask for the right grain in the shop next time) - yours looks good and your crumble sounds excellent - gooseberries seems very british to me as they are not easy to find here.

And the cricket sounds fun - I used to go to cricket with my family when I was young and the crowd was always far more entertaining than the match. But I think I always missed seeing every wicket fall!

Lysy said...

I'm exactly the same! I always look up from my book as the cheers go up, and sometimes manage to miss it altogether.

I was thinking of your tabbouleh experiments when I made this salad - I think the various influences could be melded together in rather a nice (and tailored to personal tastes) whole.

Anonymous said...

Granny Munchkin here adding her appreciation of the 'salad with spelt' as well as all the baked goodies that emerged from your freezer.

Colleagues loved the fig triangles and banana bread.