Dominic Jack gives us this delicious recipe for spelt risotto with winter vegetables

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  • Medium
Spelt is a real favourite of mine and a wonderful grain to cook with. It is part of the wheat family, but spelt grain has a higher protein level than wheat. It’s not gluten free, but it can be enjoyed by some people who don’t eat wheat, and it can make a lovely, tasty alternative to other rice or pasta dishes. Spelt is a really tasty grain – much sweeter, nuttier and cleaner than other grains, meaning it really adds a lot of flavour to cooking. It’s also simple and versatile to cook with. It can often be easier to prepare than rice because it’s a larger grain. It needs to cook longer – usually about 45 minutes to an hour, so you’ll need to be patient, but it is well worth the wait as it adds this incredible mellow, nutty flavour to dishes. That’s why this spelt risotto is such a thoroughly tasty dish and one that I will always enjoy cooking throughout the year. 

Ingredients

  • 200g spelt
  • olive oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • a dash of white wine
  • 1½ litres of chicken stock
  • knob of butter
  • salt
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 turnip, chopped
  • 100g broccoli, chopped
  • 1 parsnip, chopped
  • 100g celeriac, chopped
  • ½ fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, chopped
  • 100g pumpkin, chopped
  • handful of spinach
  • 50g Parmesan
  • 80g butter
  • 2 tsp freshly whipped cream
  • 1 tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds to garnish

Method

You can use any combination of fresh, seasonal vegetables you wish

Add the olive oil to a heavy-bottomed pan, then add the shallot and sweat down. Add the spelt and deglaze with white wine.

Add some of the chicken stock so it just covers the spelt. Cook until
al dente, keeping the spelt covered by adding more with stock until ready. This may take around 45 minutes to an hour.

Meanwhile, take another heavy-bottomed pan, and add a knob of butter and a pinch of salt. Then add boiling water to the pan, to about 2cm deep. Add the chopped carrots, then slowly add the turnip and the broccoli and blanch in the boiling salted water. Add the parsnip, celeriac, fennel and celery and cover the pan with a lid or tin foil cover.

Once tender, remove the vegetables from the water, then place back in the pan with a little olive oil, add the pumpkin and roast the vegetables until the pan starts to dry and you begin to see them colour nicely – try to resist the urge to shake the pan here so you get a lovely golden colour to the vegetables. When the vegetables are almost ready, add a handful of spinach and wilt down. Once it’s ready, strain the spelt through a sieve, retaining some liquid. Cool the spelt on a tray.

To serve

Put the spelt back into the pan with the remaining chicken stock. Warm gently and add the 80g of butter, stirring continuously until all of it is melted and has emulsified, coating the spelt. Season to taste, and add the Parmesan.

Finish with freshly whipped cream and stir through.

Spoon the spelt on to a plate, and then add a spoon of the vegetables on top of the spelt on to each dish. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds

• Enjoy this recipe and plenty more at www.castleterracerestaurant.com

About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.

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About The Author

Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack

In March 2013, Tom Kitchin and close friend and fellow chef Dominic Jack opened The Scran & Scallie alongside the management team behind The Kitchin and Castle Terrace Restaurant. The pub, which is located in Stockbridge Edinburgh, presents a warm, family-friendly atmosphere, and showcases menus developed by Tom Kitchin and Dominic Jack of simple, affordable dishes executed to perfection, which demonstrate their expertise, passion and knowledge of the best suppliers in Scotland.