Speltotto and the Vegetable Basket


I discovered that it was my turn to cook today after I had been into town, so I decided that whatever we were going to eat had to be from whatever we had in the house. This is not nearly as drastic as it sounds as we do have a vegetable garden so ‘in the house’ is a bit of a misnomer.
What we did have was some whole spelt grain which I cooked like a risotto and served with some roasted veg. I basically cleaned out the veg basket. Anything too scabby went to the compost and the rest I peeled and tossed with olive oil, salt and pepper. The real crowning glory was the grated lemon zest which just happened to be a bergamot lemon. The flavour impact was deliciously exotic. I also stirred in a handful of sprouting broccoli from the garden and handful of chervil.


It was received with grunts and nods.

Here is the recipe

Selection of vegetables for roasting ;
I used fennel, parsnips, sweet potato, carrots and celery. I don’t usually roast celery but we had an abundance so I chucked it in and it does roast well. Remember what looks like a mountain of vegetables will shrink considerably when roasted
Peel, chop and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 45/50 minutes at 180c


For the Speltotto

300g spelt
2 onions
25g butter
25mls olive oil
large glass of white wine
1 litre hot vegetable stock
about 150g parmesan cheese.
zest of 1 lemon

Soak the spelt in cold water for 2-3 hours

Peel and chop the onion. Heat a saucepan then add the butter and olive oil, once this bubbles up stir in the onions. Cook on a medium high heat for about 10 minutes. Don’t let the onions brown, turn down the heat if this is happening.
Drain the spelt and stir into the onions. cook for couple of minutes then add the wine.


When the wine has bubbled up start to add the stock. Keep the spelt cooking on a medium heat. It should be gently bubbling away. When the stock has been absorbed add a little more. Mine took about 45-50 minutes to cook and by then the spelt was nutty but not hard to eat.If you run out of stock add a little water. Stir in the purple sprouting broccoli, cook for another minute then take off the heat and beat in the parmesan cheese and grated lemon zest.
Serve in bowls with roast veg on top and chopped chervil if you have some.


This fed five hungry people

About lettercollumkitchenproject

A cook that gardens. Sun addict. Not a good addiction in West Cork hence the travel addiction. Add in a splotch of kitchen snooping while away, a big walled organic garden while home and a kitchen full of a bit of everything. Runs an organic bakery/delicatessen/food shop with her husband using food from the garden and the years of accumulated kitchen snooping. Check out the shop and garden at www.lettercollum.ie View all posts by lettercollumkitchenproject

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