This is an amazingly comforting, yet very nourishing dish! The spelt is a wholegrain grain which releases energy slowly and so will keep you going for hours. Research also shows that spelt is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of bowel cancer as it is high in fibre. This recipe contains crab, but you can leave it out and thus serve a rich vegan Asian spiced speltoto. For British grown spelt try: Sharpham Park

This recipe serves 4

You will need:

1 leek

1/2-1 chilli

2 garlic cloves, finely sliced

1cm fresh ginger, finely grated

1/2cm of fresh turmeric, finely grated or 1/4 teaspoon of dried turmeric powder

1 teaspoon of sumac

200g spelt

400ml of water

1 tin of coconut milk

2 Keffir lime leaves

2 slices of galangal (fresh or dried)

1 lemon grass, bruised

100g of cooked brown and white crab meat

Lots of chopped coriander and dill

Zest of 1 lemon

1 bunch of Asparagus (we used all 3 colours, but any will do)

2 spring onions

Nasturtium leaf pesto (optional)

We also used a micro nettle (micro herbs are very young herbs and so these nettles are not yet stingy) and nasturtium leave pesto: blend 2 large handfuls of the herbs with a large pinch of salt, 1 small clove of garlic and enough rapeseed oil to create the desired consistency). This pesto is completely optional as is the nasturtium flower, but well worth a try if you come across them as they add a great kick to the dish.

As a decoration, we used a sprinkling of chopped spring onions, Thai basil (do not substitute with Mediteranean basil as the flavours are completely different with Thai basil having a delicate aniseed flavour) and coriander.

To cook the spelt, wash the grains first and then pop into a saucepan with the water, coconut milk and a pinch of salt

Bring to boil and then simmer for 25-35 minutes until just Al dente, add more water if necessary

In the meantime, fry the leek in a tablespoon of rapeseed or coconut oil with a pinch of salt

Once it is starting to soften and get golden, add the chilli, garlic, ginger, turmeric and sumac and fry for another minute, leave to one side

Steam your asparagus for 5 minutes and then cook under a hot grill for another 5 with a drizzle of rapeseed oil and a sprinkling of sea salt for service

Once the spelt is cooked, combine with the leek mixture, most of the asparagus spears (reserving a few for decoration), crab meat, lemon zest and the fresh coriander and dill

Pour into a bowl and scatter with asparagus and herbs

Enjoy!


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