Pearled spelt salad alla norma
Breakfast & Brunch Everyday Salads & Dressing

Pearled Spelt Salad “alla Norma”

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This Pearled Spelt Salad alla Norma is an excellent vegetarian and healthy balanced one-plate meal. Excellent to served cold in summer, it’s prepared with eggplants, delicious baked cherry tomatoes, and salted ricotta. A riot of savor, taste after taste!

The summer heat of the last few days (in Rome we are around 40 °) makes me annoying to get in the kitchen and cook for hours. For this reason, I try to prepare simple dishes the evening before that can be enjoyed cold the next day.

Reinterpretation of a well-known Sicilian recipe

Those who have followed me for a while should now know that I love the typical combinations of Sicilian cuisine. Sicily is one of the most fascinating Italian regions in my opinion. Above all, because combines diverse traditions and cultures, the Italian one, obviously, but Greek and North African influence too.

The recipe that I propose today is a Pearled Spelt Salad “alla Norma”. Namely, this recipe is a revision – in cold version – of the classic Maccheroni alla Norma of Catania, more suitable and easy to serve on these warm summer evenings, or at a buffet party or as a side dish at a tasty BBQ.

Pearled Spelt salad with eggplants and salted ricotta

The right ingredients to make a perfect salad

First, the main ingredient of the salad is pearl spelt. Why? Because in this period I’m having an intolerance to wheat and flour, and spelt contains a lower percentage of gluten. Moreover, it’s helping me to eat healthily and with taste. For this recipe, I chose an Organic Pearled Spelt.

Take care that Spelt is not gluten-free but it contains less gluten than pasta and is more easily digestible.

Spelt is a cereal naturally poor of essential amino acids, with a good source of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium and potassium, which make it perfect for balancing the resources spent during the day. It is also a good source of protein and iron.     

As for the eggplants, which are the queens of this dish, I choose the striate purple ones that have a delicate and sweet taste, and overall, have less oil absorption.

For the tomatoes, since I wanted to add a more decisive flavor, I opted for the cherry tomatoes which I roasted in the oven to obtain a soft inside and crispy outside consistency.

While basil leaves are mandatory in Maccheroni alla Norma, for this Salad I used a nice bunch of Fresh Arugula Salad. I love Arugula Salad, with its tingling on the tongue, it leaves a pleasant sensation of freshness on the palate.

And to give that unique and enveloping flavor, typical of the Catanese Norma, I finished my Pearled Spelt Norma Salad with a generous sprinkle of Salted Ricotta.

Substitutions for a Vegan Version

Traditional Italian version of Spelt Salad “alla Norma” requires the use of Salted Ricotta Cheese. Anyway if you want to try it vegan, you can replace the dairy with the Soy Salted Ricotta!

Yield: 2

Pearled Spelt Salad "alla Norma"

Pearled Spelt Salad alla norma

Pearled Spelt Salad alla Norma is an excellent a vegetarian and healthy balanced one-plate summer meal prepared with eggplants, cherry tomatoes and salted ricotta. A riot of savour, taste after taste!

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 160 g. pearl spelt
  • 400 g. cherry tomatoes
  • 1 large striate purple eggplant
  • 1 bunch of arugola salad
  • 200 g. salted ricotta
  • 3 sp extra virgin olive oil
  • 30 ml sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp salt
  • 2 pinches of black pepper
  • 5 g. dried oregano
  • 1 garlic clove


  1. Bring a pot to boil with 1.5 liters of water. At boiling point, add 1 coarse salt spoon and pour the spelt into the pot. Cook it according to the cooking instructions (approx. 12 min.) over a medium heat, turning occasionally.  Once cooked, drain and leave to cool in a large salad bowl.
  2. Wash and cut the tomatoes in half, then lay them on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with oil, salt and a pinch of oregano. Bake at 180 degrees for 25 minutes (the last 5 minutes use the grill mode to obtain a crispy crust. After cooking, remove from the oven and let it cool.
  3. Then add the tomatoes to the spelt in the salad bowl.
  4. Wash and dry the eggplant. Cut into cubes of about 1-2 cm. Pour the cubes obtained in a colander and sprinkle with a teaspoon of salt and leave to drain for 10 minutes to remove the excess water.
  5. Heat 4 tablespoons of sunflower oil in a pan with a clove of garlic. Pour the eggplant cubes and stir fry in the pan until they are cooked and golden brown (about 15 minutes on medium heat).
  6. Before adding the eggplants to the spelled and tomato salad, drain the excess oil, pouring the eggplants onto a plate with a paper towel.
  7. At this point, wash and dry the arugula and add it, together with the eggplants, to the salad.
  8. Dress the salad adding - if necessary 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and top it with the grated salted ricotta.


- The use of garlic in this recipe is optional. So if you don't like that pungent taste, you can simply not add it.

- Salted ricotta is essential for this recipe. A valid alternative can be the pecorino cheese. Instead for a vegan recipe, you can replace it with the soy salted ricotta!

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 664Total Fat: 41gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 31gCholesterol: 19mgSodium: 10560mgCarbohydrates: 66gFiber: 16gSugar: 17gProtein: 17g

Nutrition Data is automatically calculated and may be not accurate.

I hope you’ve loved this recipe as much as I do! If you liked it, don’t forget to let me know by pinning on Pinterest, or posting a picture on our Facebook Page.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that as an Amazon Associate I receive a profit from eligible purchases. There is no additional cost to you. Please read my disclosure for more info.


  1. Julianne says:

    Wow, I’ve never tried anything like this before but it sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Kit says:

    This looks so amazing!

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