Green Pea & Kale Spelt Risotto

This spring green risotto has a beautiful nutty flavour that pairs perfectly with our refreshing Spinach and Mint Pesto.

 

Prep: 15 mins + 20 mins soaking | Cook: 30 mins | Serves: 4

Spelt is an ancient grain initially grown in the Alpine regions of Italy. It has a mild nutty flavour that makes a flavoursome base for risotto and pairs wonderfully with Almo Crème. Compared to regular white arborio rice, spelt has substantially more protein and dietary fibre. It’s also rich in minerals, particularly manganese, iron and zinc and is considered one of the most potent sources of niacin.

Nonetheless, spelt is close relative to wheat and has a high gluten content. It’s therefore not a suitable grain for those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity. To make this risotto gluten-free, swap the spelt for two cups of raw buckwheat groats, another heart-healthy yet entirely gluten-free grain that’s also relatively high in fibre and niacin.

The real hero of this dish, however, is our Almo Spinach and Mint Pesto, which brings out the deep earthy flavours of the risotto and is so quick and easy to make. We’ve cooked the risotto in a cast iron casserole from Le Creuset to reduce the transmission of harmful chemicals and keep the dish as healthy and wholesome as possible.

Tip:  Add the pea puree just before serving to retain that vibrant green colour!

Ingredients

Risotto

  • 2 cups (380g) pearled spelt, rinsed
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 cups vegetable stock

Pea Puree

  • 3 cups frozen baby peas, thawed
  • 4 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
  • 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp Almo Crème
  • Sea salt and cracked black pepper

To Serve

  • 8 branches of kale, blanched
  • Almo Spinach & Mint Pesto (see recipe)

Method

  1. Soak spelt in a large bowl of cold water for 20 minutes.
  2. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute shallots and garlic for 2 minutes.
  3. Drain spelt, add to the saucepan and cook, stirring frequently, for a further 2 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add vegetable stock, a cup at a time, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the water evaporates and the spelt is just tender, 20 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, combine the peas, mint, spinach and lemon rind in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Once the spelt has cooked, add the pea puree to the pan along with a tablespoon of Almo Crème and stir through. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Serve risotto topped with blanched kale and a few tablespoons of Almo Spinach and Mint Pesto.