Spinach Spelt Salad with Cranberries and Carrots for #TheSaladBar

by Dorothy Reinhold on February 15, 2014

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Chewy, nutty, satisfying spelt – a whole grain, heirloom wheat – stars in our healthy salad today.

Spelt originated in the Near East 8,000 years ago and later became popular in Europe and especially so in Germany in the Middle Ages. Luckily, it hasn’t been hybridized, so it still has its desirable characteristics of superior flavor and nutrition.

Maybe I’m channeling my inner German, because I like it for pilafs and salads. It is especially nice in a main-dish salad because it offers a welcome chew. It’s fiberlicious, and can be more easily digested than other forms of wheat (although it isn’t gluten-free).

Spinach Spelt Salad with Cranberries and Carrots | www.ShockinglyDelicious.comI often cook a big pot of grains on the weekend, and keep them in the refrigerator to throw into salads or to make a quick side dish for dinner. This strategy makes using whole grains very easy.

That’s how this salad came about. I saw the cooked grains at the ready, and went sniffing for a few other ingredients.

It turned into one of my prettiest salads!

Spinach Spelt Salad with Cranberries and Carrots | www.ShockinglyDelicious.comToday our Salad Bar cooks are featuring grains. Join us on our chewy culinary adventure!

Recipe: Spinach Spelt Salad with Cranberries and Carrots

Summary: Chewy, complex, nutty spelt joins garlicky onions and carrots, pine nuts and pomegranate for a gorgeous winter spinach salad.


  • 1 (3-ounce) bag Melissa’s Sweetened Dried Cranberries
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • 1 ½ teaspoons finely mined fresh rosemary
  • 1 ¾-2 cups cooked Bob’s Red Mill spelt
  • ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
  • ¼ cup pomegranate arils
  • Fresh spinach


  1. If cranberries are soft and pliant, leave them alone. If they are a bit dry and hard, add cranberries to a 2-cup measuring cup, cover with water, and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Remove from oven and allow to steep and soften while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet, and sauté onion and carrot for about 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Add garlic and rosemary and sauté for another minute or two. Remove from heat, add spelt, pine nuts and drained cranberries. Stir to combine.
  3. Line plates or shallow bowls with spinach leaves, and portion spelt mixture on top. Sprinkle with pomegranate arils.
  4. May be eaten warm or at room temperature.
  5. Serves 4.


Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious


Bob's Red Mill SpeltBob’s Red Mill sent the spelt, and Melissa’s Produce sent the cranberries and pine nuts for recipe testing.

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Diet type: Vegan, vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 4
Culinary tradition: USA (Nouveau)
My rating 5 stars:  ★★★★★ 

The Salad Bar badgeHere are the other salads created by my fellow cooks for #TheSaladBar, a monthly cooperative feature. Choose my spinach-spelt creation today, or one of theirs to try for your own grains-inspired meal! You can’t go wrong with any of these beauties.

{ 14 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary @ Fit and Fed February 16, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Cool! I’ve had farro in a salad, but not spelt, I imagine it must be similar (very chewy and satisfying). All your add-ins, like the pine nuts, dried cranberries, and pomegranate arils, are ones that our family loves!


Dorothy Reinhold February 16, 2014 at 7:43 pm

You are correct…chewy and satisfying!


Michelle February 15, 2014 at 12:13 pm

This sounds delicious. I love anything with cranberries!


Dorothy Reinhold February 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm

The cranberries add a little pop of sweetness!


sippitysup February 15, 2014 at 10:32 am

That is indeed pretty. GREG


Dorothy Reinhold February 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Thank you! That means a lot, coming from the king of pretty food. 🙂


Nancy Rose Eisman February 15, 2014 at 8:58 am

Definitely one of your prettiest salads. Wish I had a bowl full right now – and it’s only 9 am!


Dorothy Reinhold February 15, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Thank you! I did eat some for breakfast and I recommend it!


Laura @ Family Spice February 15, 2014 at 8:23 am

… AND pomegranate! YAY! Great tip about making your grains once and using it all week. I really need to take the time to make the stuff I like to eat!


Dorothy Reinhold February 15, 2014 at 3:58 pm

That strategy has saved by heiny many times, for lunch AND dinner. Just reach in and grab the grain and you’re halfway there.


David @ CookingChat February 15, 2014 at 6:32 am

Love a good salad! This looks great. I don’t think to add grains to salad, but seems like it would make it very substantial.


Dorothy Reinhold February 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

You’e right. If you want to use the salad as a main dish, it does help to add some chewy grain, like spelt or farro or freekah.


Wendy (The Weekend Gourmet) February 15, 2014 at 6:25 am

Isn’t this pretty! I have everything to make this salad…just need to pick up some spelt .


Dorothy Reinhold February 15, 2014 at 3:59 pm

I say run right out and get that spelt! Or use farro or freekah.


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