I made this on a bit of a him so that I could use up the spring greens growing in my garden before the slugs or caterpillars got them. I also used barley instead of spelt, which took much longer to cook and much more liquid than the time given for spelt. Nevertheless it was really tasty and well worth my arm falling off from all the stirring!
Kale Speltotto with Goat's Cheese
(from River Cottage Veg - Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall)
1l vegetable stock
2 tbsp oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
A few sprigs thyme, leaves chopped
2-3 leeks, trimmed and sliced into 2cm thick slices
150g kale or spring greens, stems removed and leaves shredded
300g pearled spelt or barley
125ml white wine
50g hard goat's cheese
salt and pepper
Heat the stock in a saucepan and keep it at a low simmer over a very low heat.
Heat about half the butter and 1 tbsp of the oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and sweat gently for about 10 mins, until the onion is soft.
Stir the spelt through the softened onions and cook gently for a min or two. Add the wine and let it bubble until all the liquid is absorbed.
Now start adding the stock, about a quarter at the time, as you would for a risotto, stirring often, letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next. It should take about 25 mins for the spelt (10-15 mins longer for barley) to become tender but still with a bit of bite.
While the spelt is cooking, sweat the leeks in the remaining oil and butter in a small frying pan over a medium heat, tossing and stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the kale or greens for the last 5 mins.
Take the finished Speltotto off the heat and stir through the leeks, kale or greens and grated cheese. Season. Serve topped with more grated cheese or sliced goat's cheese and a grinding of pepper.