This salad makes a great side to roast chicken, quail or spatchcock. The spelt can be replaced with freekah or cracked wheat if you prefer.
6 red onions
2 tbsp olive oil plus extra for roasting
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
1 celery stick, finely diced
200g spelt grain
6 sprigs thyme
3 bay leaves
2 lemons, juiced
100ml extra-virgin olive oil
½ cup parsley, chopped
80g almonds, toasted and chopped
3 green onions, finely sliced
Finely dice two red onions. Add the butter and two tablespoons of oil to a medium saucepan and cook the diced onion, garlic and celery on a low heat for about 10 minutes.
When the vegetables are soft, add the spelt and continue cooking to toast the grain a little. Add the water, bring to a simmer then cover and cook on a low heat for 25 minutes.
Heat the oven to 170C. Leaving the skin on, cut the four remaining onions in half, place in a baking tray and coat well with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, thyme and bay leaves and roast for about 40 minutes or until quite soft.
When the spelt is cooked, spread it out on a large plate and chill to stop it cooking.
For the dressing, put the lemon juice and extra virgin olive oil in a jar and shake well. Let the onions cool slightly then remove the skins and chop roughly.
In a large bowl, mix the onions with the spelt and remaining ingredients, keeping a little of the almonds and green onion aside.
Dress salad, toss and garnish with almonds and green onions.