The Vegetable Butcher's Kale and Spelt Berry Salad with Sweet Cranberries and Lemon Dressing

The Vegetable Butcher’s Kale and Spelt Berry Salad with Sweet Cranberries and Lemon Dressing

Cara Mangini, the Vegetable Butcher, shares a delicious salad recipe with us. She notes:

Kale comes packed with nutrients, but when eaten raw, it can use a few goodies to give it a boost of flavor. This salad is full of spelt berries, walnuts, cranberries, onion, and thyme, which complement the kale and harmonize to embellish every bite. This way you score all of kale’s perks and enjoy a flavorful, varied, and satisfying meal at the same time. You may never return to more delicate green salads again.

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The Vegetable Butcher's Kale and Spelt Berry Salad with Sweet Cranberries and Lemon Dressing

Recipe: Kale and Spelt Berry Salad with Sweet Cranberries and Lemon Dressing

Serves 4 to 6

Fine sea salt
1 cup dry spelt berries, picked through and rinsed
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup toasted walnuts, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup finely diced red onion (see Notes)
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus extra as needed
Lemon Dressing (recipe follows)
1 bunch curly green and/or purple kale (about 12 ounces), washed, ribs and stems removed, cut into 2-inch pieces (see Notes)
Crumbled feta or ricotta salata cheese, for topping (optional)

1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the spelt berries and cook, partially covered, until they are tender, 50 to 60 minutes. Drain the spelt berries and spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet to cool.

2. Combine the spelt berries, cranberries, walnuts, onion, thyme, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and ¼ teaspoon of pepper in a large bowl. Drizzle in half of the dressing and toss to combine all the ingredients. Add the kale and more dressing to taste, and toss until the kale is evenly distributed and dressed. Season with more salt and pepper to taste, and top with the feta if you wish.

Notes: Dice the red onion as fine as you can—ideally ¹/₈-inch dice or smaller. This salad likes a hint of onion but not big, overwhelming bites. Curly green or purple kale is the best for this salad, although red Russian will work as well. Lacinato kale, cut into ribbons, will work just fine, but is also quite good with quinoa instead of spelt berries as the base.

Recipe: Lemon Dressing
Makes about ²/₃ cup
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
1⁄3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Whisk together the lemon juice, salt, and maple syrup in a small bowl. Gradually stream in the olive oil while whisking quickly and constantly until the mixture emulsifies.
The dressing can be made ahead and stored, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 1 week.


Cara Mangini - World's Greatest Food Fight Paleo and Vegan ExpertsChef Cara Mangini – Little Eater

Cara Mangini is the chef and founder of Little Eater. Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area and working at some of New York’s and Napa Valley’s top culinary destinations, she developed a passion for produce at its peak and honed her skills in its selection and preparation. Ever since, she’s been on a mission to put vegetables at the center of the American plate.
She is the author of The Vegetable Butcher, a cookbook that explores how to Select, Prep, Slice, Dice, and Masterfully Cook Vegetables from Artichokes to Zucchini.

See all of our Paleo and Vegan Experts in the Greatest Food Fight!

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Recipe Photo: Matthew Benson



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