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Julie’s Leek ‘Heart’ and Spelt Salad

Julie Cleijne

Leek icon

Serves: 2

Prep time: 15 mins

Cook time: 1 hour


180g spelt grain

1 tbsp rapeseed oil

12 tbsp thinly sliced leek ‘hearts’ – the centre light green section of the entire leek

2 figs

30g watercress, stems removed

1.5 tbsp crushed walnuts

2 tbsp crumbly cheese (feta, blue cheese, or vegan cheese)

Pear salsa dressing:

1 tsp margarine or butter

2 pears, peeled and diced

200 ml water

2.5 tbsp runny honey

¼ tsp turmeric

¼ tsp cayenne pepper


Kitchen Ninja


Rinse the spelt grain under cold water.  Add the rinsed spelt to a saucepan, and cover with enough cold water to cover it by at least 1.5 -2 cm.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer until tender, approx. 45 minutes.  Meanwhile, prepare the leek ‘hearts’.

Cut the leek hearts lengthways, and cut into matchstick-size pieces. Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.  Add the leek hearts and sauté for 1-2 minutes until just tender.  Remove immediately and set aside.

Wash the watercress, crush the walnuts into rough pieces and crumble the cheese.  Cut the figs in quarters lengthways, then cut into wedges.

For the pear salsa dressing: Melt the margarine or butter in a shallow fry pan on a low heat.  Add the diced pears and cook until tender, but still firm and starting to golden. Mix the honey and water and add to the pears in the fry pan, and cook at a low simmer. Add the turmeric and cayenne pepper. Cook on the lowest heat until the pears are tender and the salsa sauce has reduced and thickened. 

To assemble the salad – in a large bowl add the cooked spelt grain, stir through half of the pear salsa, and stir to combine. 

Add the watercress, half of the leek hearts and half of the walnuts.  Stir through to combine.  Divide the salad amongst 2 serving bowls.  Top each bowl with the remaining leek hearts, walnuts, and finally the wedges of fig.  Drizzle more of the salsa dressing over the top, and finally sprinkle the crumbly cheese over the top of the salad, and serve.

Kids in the kitchen:

Get the kids to rinse the spelt and put it in a pan with the cold water. They can wash the watercress, crush the walnuts and crumble the cheese, and then have them help you assemble the salads.

Julie Cleijne

Julie is a Naturopathic Chef, who works with Foodservice, Brands and Retail to help them be more sustainable and profitable. Her core message is centred around promoting ‘Healthy People and Healthy Planet’. She advises on sustainable practices and connects businesses with sustainable supply chains, creates healthy recipes with Nutrition as the main focus, and with a strong spotlight on making the most of British Seasonal food.

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