Spelt risotto with purple sprouting broccoli and mushrooms
A comforting bowl of creamy carbs to keep out the chill on a cold night.
Cook the spelt in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain.
Heat the stock or water in a saucepan and keep at a gentle simmer (when making this dish it is very important to keep the stock simmering at all times, otherwise you may interrupt the cooking process).
Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in another large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2–3 minutes until softened and beginning to colour. Gradually add the spelt to the pan and stir well for 1 minute.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine and reduce the heat. Stir gently until all the alcohol has evaporated before adding more liquid. Add 1 ladle of hot stock to the spelt and stir gently. Let the spelt absorb the stock before adding the next ladle. (This slow method keeps the grain firm and concentrates the flavour of the dish.)
Repeat this process until the spelt is al dente – cooked, yet still with a little bite (this should take about 40–45 mins).
When the spelt has the right texture, briskly stir in the butter and Parmesan, until melted and glossy.
Blanch the broccoli in a pan of salted boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat the remaining olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium–high heat.
Add the mushrooms and garlic and fry briskly for 2 minutes, or until the mushrooms have lightly browned.
Add the reserved sprouting broccoli to the mushrooms and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the risotto topped with the broccoli and mushroom mixture, then sprinkle the spring onions all over the plate.