All about Whittlesford – past, present and future

Spelt salad with roasted cauliflower and grapes

Spelt salad with roasted cauliflower and grapes

: 4

I adore this wonderful grain. If you have never roasted grapes before, you’ll be surprised by how magnificent they are all blistered and bruised and bursting with flavour.


  • 200g spelt grains, soaked overnight and rinsed
  • ½ large cucumber, cut into ribbons
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • ½ tsp sea-salt flakes small bunch of dill, finely chopped, plus extra torn fronds to serve
  • handful of pomegranate seeds, to garnish
  • For the roasted cauliflower and grapes
  • 1 small head of cauliflower, broken into florets
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 heaped tsp zaatar (or dried thyme)
  • 50g seedless black grapes
  • For the dressing
  • 75g sunflower seeds
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp pomegranate molasses
  • ½ tbsp agave nectar or maple syrup
  • sea-salt flakes, to season
  • Step 1 Add the spelt grains to a large saucepan and pour over 750ml water. Cover and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 60-75 minutes, or until all the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and leave to steam, covered, for 5-10 minutes, then fluff the grains up with a fork and set aside to cool completely.
  • Step 2 Preheat the oven to 220C/gas mark 7.
  • Step 3 Put the cauliflower florets in a bowl with the olive oil, toss to coat and sprinkle over the zaatar. Season generously, arrange on a baking tray in an even layer and roast for 15 minutes, then add the grapes and roast for a further five minutes, or until the cauliflower is lightly charred and the grapes are blistered.
  • Step 4 Meanwhile, put the cucumber ribbons in a bowl. Whisk the cider vinegar, agave nectar and sea-salt flakes together in a separate bowl, then pour over the cucumber ribbons and set them aside for 15-20 minutes to pickle lightly.
  • Step 5 Place the cooled spelt in a shallow serving bowl together with a tablespoon or so of the cucumber-pickling liquid. Drain the cucumber, add it to the bowl with the dill and toss everything together with your hands.
  • Step 6 To make the dressing, place all the ingredients in a blender with some black pepper, and blitz, adding 150-175ml water as needed, until completely smooth. Scrape down the sides from time to time as you go.
  • Step 7 To serve, top the salad with the roasted cauliflower and grapes, drizzle over the dressing and garnish with the pomegranate seeds and a few torn dill fronds.