The breadcrumbs on top of this dish are a take on the Italian pangrattato, literally ‘grated bread’, or otherwise known as poor man’s parmesan. They are really great fried up in a pan with a little oil, until golden, then sprinkled over everything from soups and stews to pastas. You can play around with the mixture, changing the herbs or omitting the lemon. Any leftovers can be stored in a jar once cooled and used throughout the week.
- 150g pearled spelt
- 200ml white wine
- 300ml vegetable stock
- 2 fennel bulbs, sliced
- 2 handfuls broad beans
- 200g green beans
- 1 small bunch tarragon, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, sliced
- olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the topping
- 75g soft breadcrumbs, made from stale bread
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- half a small bunch parsley, finely chopped
- half a small bunch chives, finely chopped
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Chilli flakes, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 180C/gas mark 4.
- Put the spelt, wine and stock into a large baking dish. Top with the fennel, broad beans, green beans, tarragon and sliced garlic. Drizzle over some olive oil and season well, mix gently to spread out the vegetables. But try to keep the barley under the stock. Grate a nice blanket of parmesan over the top.
- For the topping, mix together the ingredients, season well then sprinkle over the top of everything.
- Bake in the preheated oven for 30 – 40 minutes, or until the spelt is tender. If the breadcrumbs are getting too brown towards the end of cooking, but your spelt isn’t quite tender enough, then reduce the temperature of the oven to 160C for the final 10-15 minutes.
- Serve warm, rather than roasting hot.
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