Whole-Grain Spelt Salad With Leeks and Marinated Mushrooms Recipe

Quick-marinated mushrooms, leeks, and cucumbers add flavor and crunch to whole-grain spelt in this tasty salad. Daniel Gritzer

Grain salads are forgiving and flexible, and nutty spelt takes well to all kinds of vegetables like fennel, arugula, or carrots. Here, quick-marinated mushrooms, leeks, and cucumbers combine for a refreshing, flavorful salad.

Why this recipe works:

  • Marinating the cooked mushrooms and leeks with cider vinegar for 15 minutes allows them to absorb the vinegar so that each bite delivers a pop of tartness.
  • A sprinkling of espelette pepper powder adds a blast of color and a mild, wonderfully fruity red-pepper flavor.

Recipe Facts

Active: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Serves: 4 to 6 servings

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  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, diced
  • 1 large (12-ounce) leek, diced
  • 2 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon picked thyme leaves, minced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided
  • 6 cups cooked whole-grain spelt (from about 24 ounces dry)
  • 2 small Persian cucumbers, quartered lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup minced chives
  • Espelette pepper powder, for garnish (optional)


  1. In a large skillet, heat 3 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until tender and their water has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add leek, garlic, and thyme, season with salt and pepper, and cook until leak is tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer to large bowl and stir in 1/4 cup cider vinegar. Let stand 15 minutes.

  2. In a large bowl, stir together spelt, cucumbers, and mushroom-leek mixture. Stir in remaining 6 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, parley, and chives, and season with salt and pepper. Spoon salad into bowls and sprinkle with espelette pepper, if using.

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