I love the nuttiness of spelt and it is delicious in a risotto. The addition of parsnip means that you get a good dose of vegetables in this risotto (or speltotto). Feel free to use dried rosemary or thyme if you do not have tarragon but do not skimp on the bay leaf or sage as their flavour goes a long way. The chicken broth adds a beautiful richness to this dish whilst the vegetable ones makes for a lighter taste. Both are equally divine.
Grass Fed Butter (Kerrygold)
2 banana shallots (or 3 regular shallots), finely chopped
200g grated raw parsnip (about 2 medium parsnips)
2 tsp dried tarragon
250g pearled spelt
1 bay leaf
small bunch of sage
4 tbsp cider vinegar
500ml Ossa Broth (chicken or vegetable)
sea salt and black pepper
40g whole almonds (roasted in an oven of 180° for 10 mins, cooled and roughly chopped)
Heat 1 tablespoon of grass fed butter in a large frying pan and add your chopped shallots. Cook gently for about 3 minutes until soft and translucent.
Add your parsnips, dried tarragon and a further 2 teaspoons of butter and cook for 5-7 minutes stirring constantly. Your parsnips should be soft and have caught a little char from the bottom of the pan in places.
Add the pearled spelt and cider vinegar and stir well to coat everything evenly. Add the bay leaf and a few springs of sage.
Pour roughly half a mugs worth of Ossa broth just to cover the spelt and stir slowly.
Continue to add the broth slowly whilst stirring continuously for about 25-30 minutes. You may like to crisp up your sage leaves at this point too (see points below) Your speltotto is ready when it has cooked through but still has a good bite.
To make your crispy sage take a small saucepan and add one tablespoon of grass fed butter. Bring it to a medium/high heat. This should take about three minutes. Test it by splashing a few drops of water into it. If it sizzles it is ready.
Tear off however many sage leaves as you wish. I like to do about twenty. In groups of three or four drop the leaves into the hot oil for about 20 second. Remove using tongues or two forks and place onto a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess oil. Quickly sprinkle with flaked sea salt.
When your speltotto is cooked remove the bay leaf and sage springs and season to taste.
To serve divide your speltotto into bowls. Sprinkle over your almonds, a further pinch of flakey sea salt or pink himalayan and top with crispy sage.