The glorious Isle of Wight tomatoes which have brightened my days all summer are still tasting pretty good, but my mind has already begun to wander to the the delights of autumn. My favourite season, with its orange tones, majestic squash and gutsy fruit puddings. But before I bid the summer farewell, there is that short period where my light lunchtime salads slowly become a little more robust and certain ingredients start to reappear like long lost friends.
I had dug out a box of Sharpham Park pearled spelt last week when the weather was damp and dismal with thoughts of a spelt risotto with squash, chestnuts, spinach and goat's cheese, but the summer has decided to grace us with one last hurrah. So one short fridge forage later, the risotto was ditched in favour of a hearty salad.
The tahini gives the dressing a lovely creamy texture. Go easy on the garlic - it really does only need one small clove or half a large clove.
125g sprouted beans
4 or 5 medium tomatoes
a small bunch flat leaf parsley
For the dressing:
1/2 tsp Maldon sea salt, ground
1 small clove garlic, crushed
1 tbsp light tahini
1 & 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
3 tbsp olive oil
Cook the pearled spelt according the the packet instructions. I usually wash mine well, put in a small pan, add 300ml water, put the lid on the pan and bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. If there is any moisture left, I remove the lid and stir over a low heat for a minute or two. Spread out on a plate to cool.
In a medium sized bowl mix the ingredients for the dressing until emulsified (one of those little 'wonder whisks' does this job brilliantly).
Cut each of the tomatoes into quarters and chop or slice the radishes. Roughly chop the parsley - leaves and stalks.
Add the spelt, sprouted beans and chopped parsley to the dressing and mix well. Then add the tomatoes and radishes, stir lightly and serve.
Serves 4 for a light lunch.