Spelt Risotto

April15

The Food Network is always on in our house and often times I catch an interesting recipe without even sitting down to watch a show.  That is how I heard about this Spelt Risotto recipe.  Then yesterday, by coincidence I was at Organza Market because I was meeting someone for lunch at the adjoining Dandelion Eatery.  I picked up a bag of spelt in order to experiment a bit.  What I found most intriguing was the fact that spelt being a grain similar to wheat, does not require the same amount of cooking time as a rice risotto.eeandrey090800093

 So here goes:

 1 cup spelt
8 cups water
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
butter, to taste
1/2 cup chopped shallots (divided in two)
2 cups sliced mushrooms
2/3 cup white wine (+ 2 tablespoons)
2 cups chicken broth
freshly grated Parmesan cheese 3859848_s

Soak the spelt in cold water 20 minutes. Drain; rinse. Bring 8 cups water to boil in medium saucepan. Add 1/2 cup oil and the spelt. Simmer 20 minutes. Drain in strainer and rinse.

Clean and slice mushrooms while spelt is soaking. Heat up a small amount of oil in a medium sized skillet, put in 1/2 of the finely diced shallots. Cook for about a minute, then put in mushrooms. After the mushrooms have started to soften, put in a splash of the white wine. Cook until the liquid has evaporated and the mushrooms and shallots start to get sticky and golden. 

Put a little bit of oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; saute 1 minute. Add spelt and wine. Simmer until almost all liquid evaporates, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Add chicken broth 1 cup at a time and simmer until liquid is absorbed each time. After the third helping of liquid (1 wine and 2 chicken broths), stir in the mushroom mixture. Let the liquid continue to evaporate. This should take about 15 minutes or so. Taste the risotto to make sure spelt is soft. Stir in cheese and butter. Season with salt and pepper.

Kath’s quote: “Nature alone is antique and the oldest art a mushroom.”-Thomas Carlyle
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