Spelt or farro? Not the same thing though both are grains, both are super-nutritious and even good in keto diet. This time spelt is the star of the show, in the gorgeous vegetarian salad with marinated courgette ribbons, dressed with creamy blue cheese and with a crunch of toasted pine nuts.
Grains on my brains currently; and spelt is the newest discovery. When I was a kid, I wouldn’t want to even sniff a dish made with grains, though truth be told, barley was probably the only grain known to me back then.
Today the world of cooking is full of various wonderful (bulgur) and less wonderful (quinoa) cereals that can be made into pilafs or sprinkled onto salads. Spelt is one of those: you’d never have heard of it twenty years ago; it looks suspiciously like barley and I bought it by accident.
Because it is commonly confused with farro which I very much wanted to play with, my online shopping pickers obviously thought spelt WAS farro. Having noticed the mistake a tad too late to run after the delivery driver, I put it in the back of the cupboard intending to return it with my next shopping delivery. I forgot. So it spent a while (weeks not months, rest assured) in that cupboard until I decided I might as well try it as I wouldn’t dream of throwing perfectly good food away.
And I did; and it did turn out to be good food. Spelt is wholesome – that’s probably the best way to describe it. As most grains, it absorbs flavourings and seasoning like a sponge and it turns into very interesting, rudimentary risotto (speltotto?) when smeared with soft blue cheese.
I killed two birds with one stone with this vegetarian dish because I also found another application for hateful (but we love them really) courgettes that every summer bring us zillions of search engine queries ‘what to do with courgettes?’ And this is such a good application that I’m going to repeat it soon in a standalone courgette dish. Sliced on a peeler, slightly dehydrated with salt, marinated with lemon they turn into a wonderful, un-courgette-like experience. And they tasted pleasantly fresh and slippery among all the wholesomeness of the spelt.
I’ve cooked spelt twice again after the first time and like it so much I have yet to taste farro!