When I think about al-fresco feasting during the summer, I get visions of big juicy salads shared in the warm sunshine with friends. I can’t guarantee the sun, but this griddled peach and spelt salad brings all the summer vibes and is ideal for sharing.
There’s plenty of nutrients for your gut microbes in this salad too, thanks to the fibre-rich spelt - a nutty tasting grain which forms the base - and one of my seasonal favourites; juicy peaches. Choosing less typical grains like spelt is a great way to add more diversity to your diet - which in turn can support the diversity of your gut microbiome.
Colourful fruits and vegetables like peaches, basil and olive oil are also a source of polyphenols - natural pigments which specifically feed beneficial microbes living in the gut. Sounds good? Let’s get cooking…
Tip: If you wanted to make this a vegan salad, you could switch out the burrata with a cashew cheese.
Prep time: 10
Cook time: 20
For the salad
200 grams spelt (or pearled spelt)
Olive oil to drizzle
Salt and pepper
4 ripe (but still firm-ish) peaches - if they are too soft, they will quickly become mushy when grilled. You can also use nectarines.
50 grams skin on almonds
100 grams rocket or watercress
150- 200 grams Burrata
For the dressing
A handful of basil leaves
Juice of half a lemon
1-2 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt and black pepper
Large platter for serving
Rinse the spelt under cold water. Bring a pan of water to the boil, add the spelt and cook for 20 minutes, or according to pack instructions. Drain, rinse in cold water, drain again and then stir through a drizzle of olive oil, a pinch of salt and pepper. Set to one side.
Whilst the spelt is cooking, prepare the rest of your ingredients, starting with the peaches. Run a knife around the middle starting from the stem and then gently twist to pull apart. Twist the pit to remove and discard. Brush each peach with a little olive oil. Heat a griddle pan and griddle the peaches face down for 2-3 minutes until caramelised and marked with the griddle. Repeat on the other side then lift onto a plate to catch the lovely juices and set aside.
Next, make your dressing. Pop the basil, lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender and blitz to a ‘pourable’ consistency - you may need a little more olive oil or lemon juice.
Lastly, toast the almonds in a dry pan until they smell fragrant, then transfer to a chopping board and roughly chop.
You’re now ready to assemble your salad - do this just before you are ready to serve. Layer up the grains and the greens then arrange the peaches on top - sliced or in their halves - your choice. Drizzle over any juices from the peaches. Tear the burrata over the top, then scatter over the nuts and finally drizzle over the dressing.