Tomato & spelt salad with walnut dressing

Tomato & spelt salad with walnut dressing

A gorgeous late-summer supper, with a nutty pesto-inspired dressing. The recipe makes more of the pesto than you'll need so keep the rest in the fridge for up to 4 days, ready to stir into cooked pasta with a handful of your favourite vegetables. Or slather over toasted bread to top with more tomatoes or some flaked hot-smoked fish. 

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  • Serves1
  • CourseMain meal
  • Prepare25 mins
  • Cook30 mins
  • Total time55 mins

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  • 150g pearled spelt
  • 2 shallots, finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp Essential Red Wine Vinegar
  • ½ tsp clear honey
  • 100g walnut halves
  • 100g watercress
  • 1 large clove garlic, chopped
  • 20g vegetarian hard cheese finely grated
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 750g mixed tomatoes, halved or sliced, according to size
  • 100g Essentail Reduced Fat Greek Salad Cheese, drained and cubed or crumbled


  1. Rinse the spelt in a sieve, then put in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Add a pinch of salt and bring to boil over a medium heat. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until tender. Drain well and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, toss the shallots with the vinegar, honey and a small pinch of salt in a non-metallic bowl; set aside for 15 minutes to pickle.

  2. Heat a frying pan over a medium-high heat and toast the walnut halves for 5-6 minutes, tossing a couple of times, until golden. Tip onto a board, then roughly crush 30g and set aside. Reserve 30g delicate watercress sprigs (leaving 70g tougher stalks and larger leaves). Put the garlic clove in a mini food processor (or use a pestle and mortar) with the 70g watercress stalks and larger leaves. Seaaon, then whizz or crush until roughly chopped. Add the remaining 70g toasted walnuts and the grated cheese with the oil, then whizz or crush again to make a rough pesto. Put ½ this pesto in a sealed jar in the fridge, ready to use on pasta or in sandwiches over the following 4 days.

  3. Put the remaining pesto in a small bowl and add the drained vinegar from the shallots with 2-3 tbsp warm water to make a thick dressing season if needed. To serve, gently toss the spelt and tomatoes together on a platter with reserved watercress sprigs and the pcikled shallots. Add ½ the pesto dressing and toss through again. Spoon the remaining pesto dressing over, finishing with the salad cheese and reserved crushed walnuts.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


2,038kJ/ 489kcals



Saturated Fat












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