Spelt brings me back down to earth. I love the slightly nutty flavor of this whole grain and I substitute it for rice in this “risotto.” Spelt has a slightly different texture and is quite a bit more filling than rice, so I normally serve this in small portions as a starter or as an accompaniment to meat or fish. Obviously, if you want to serve a larger portion as a main course on its own, just double the quantities.–Richard Bertinet
LC Shiny Happy Shallots Note
Sorta nice when a recipe gets interrupted—or rather, interspersed—with little cooking lessons. This risotto from Richard Bertinet is no exception. Actually, his entire collection of recipes, Cook: In a Class of Your Own, is no exception. Throughout its pages he shares tricks and techniques he’s culled over the years. Witness such shallot-y insights as, “I tend to use shallot rather than onion because it is slightly sweeter, which works well with the sweetness of the squash. Also, you get a slight pinky-wine color in a shallot, which looks lovely.” Nice, right? And as Bertinet continues, or rather, cautions in terms of sweating the delicate little alliums, “If you keep the shallots in the center of the pan, you run less risk of burning them than if you spread them out. Also, if you start with cold oil, it is harder to burn the shallots.” See? Shiny happy shallots. Thanks, Bertinet, for throwing your cooking love around.
Whole Spelt Risotto with Butternut Squash
- Quick Glance
- Quick Glance
- 45 M
- 1 H, 45 M
- Serves 2 to 4
IngredientsEmail Grocery List
Recipe Testers Reviews
This is a wonderful way to get a creamy risotto that’s distinctly different. Since I didn’t have any spelt in the house I made the substitution of pearl barley. I had reservations about whether this would be as creamy as a regular risotto, but I was wrong. I found that the pearl barley did take a little more stock than the recipe indicated—about 3/4 cup more. My family raved about it. And to my surprise, it tasted even better the next day when the barley has softened a little more. I would heartily recommend this to anyone looking for something different, creamy, and comforting. I can’t wait to make this again and pair it with other vegetables besides squash.
This is definitely a hearty version of risotto, but it also lets you feel a bit more healthy about such a decadent dish containing butter and cheese. I used barley in place of spelt and needed all 1 3/4 cups of stock. The barley needed 20 minutes of stirring to get to where I felt it was cooked. The presentation is better when the beets and butternut squash are piled on top of a mound of the risotto, but I also just mixed the leftovers together and ate it for lunch the next day and I certainly didn’t complain. Trust me, you won’t feel deprived using a whole grain instead of aborio rice in this dish.