Chef's Recipes

Toasted grains with labne and herbs

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for toasted grains with labne and herbs by Matt Wilkinson from Melbourne restaurant Circa, the Prince.

By Matt Wilkinson
  • Serves 4
  • 10 mins preparation
  • 20 mins cooking
Toasted grains with labne and herbs
Toasted grains with labne and herbs

“At Circa, we’re lucky enough to have a kitchen garden which supplies us with many of the specialty herbs we use in our dishes, such as the chickpea shoots we use to garnish this dish, which are also available from growers’ markets or specialist greengrocers. If you can’t find them, garnish with a combination of baby herbs or cress instead. It is essential to have high levels of lemon juice for acidity, which cuts through the grains and labne.”


  • 200 gm spelt grain (see note)
  • 100 gm faro (see note)
  • 100 gm small green lentils
  • 200 gm quinoa (see note)
  • 100 gm coarse burghul
  • 80 gm (½ cup) raw almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 80 gm (½ cup) sultanas, coarsely chopped
  • 75 gm (½ cup) dried apricots, coarsely chopped
  • 80 ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 50 ml lemon juice, or to taste
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 150 gm labne (see note)


  • 1
    Dry-roast spelt and faro in a frying pan until nutty and fragrant (1-2 minutes), then cook in boiling water, with lentils, until tender (15-20 minutes), drain and refresh under cold running water. Drain well and transfer to a large bowl.
  • 2
    Meanwhile, cook quinoa in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, add burhgul, cook for another minute, drain well and refresh under cold running water. Drain well and add to spelt mixture.
  • 3
    Add almonds, dried fruit, olive oil, lemon juice and parsley, season to taste and toss to combine, then serve scattered with labne, baby herbs and dukkah.


Spelt grain, faro and quinoa are available from select health-food shops and delicatessens. Labne, a drained yoghurt cheese usually stored in oil, is available from select delicatessens. Alternatively, if you have time, place thick natural yoghurt in a fine sieve placed over a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight to drain. Scoop quenelles and serve.
This recipe is from the February 2010 issue of
Drink Suggestion: 2008 Pierro ‘LTC’. Drink suggestion by Liam O'Brien

  • Author: Matt Wilkinson