Spelt has a nutty flavour that goes very well with earthy root vegetables. Roasted wedges of pumpkin or beetroot work brilliantly in place of the swede, but instead of adding at the beginning, stir in the diced flesh of the roasted veg just a minute or two before the speltotto is finished.Rate this recipe:
- 15 mins
- 45 mins
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 20g butter
- 2 tablespoons rapeseed or olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 350g swede, peeled and cut into 1cm dice
- 300g pearled spelt (or pearl barley)
- A good handful of parsley, finely chopped
- 50g Parmesan, hard goat’s cheese or other well-flavoured hard cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
- A few gratings of nutmeg
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Bring the stock to a low simmer in a small pan and keep over a very low heat.
Heat the butter and oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat.
Add the onions and sweat gently, stirring, for about 10 minutes, until
soft. Add the garlic and swede and stir for a couple of minutes.
Add the spelt (or barley) to the pan and stir for a couple of minutes,
making sure all the grains are well coated with butter and oil.
Now start adding the stock, about a quarter at a time, as you would
for a risotto, stirring often and letting each addition be absorbed before
you add the next.
It should take about 25 minutes for spelt (or a bit longer for barley) to cook to a tender texture with a hint of bite still in the grains. By this time the swede will be completely tender too.
Stir in the chopped parsley and grated cheese. Add salt, plenty of black
pepper and a few gratings of nutmeg. Serve, topped with more grated
cheese. A crisp green salad is the ideal accompaniment.
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