Toasted Spelt Risotto by Heston Blumenthal 

Risotto is arguably one of the most warming, comforting, and most importantly, satisfying dishes to cook and eat

26 Oct, 2021 | Recipes | 0 comments

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 hour
Serves: 2 people
Spelt and Fable in your risotto might be a bit novel, but they take this dish in a new and exciting direction, introducing a pleasingly chewy texture and a lovely savoury nuttiness. It’s different, delicious and delightful.


  • 100g spelt 
  • Generous pinch saffron 
  • 2 tsp grapeseed oil 
  • 10g shallots, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped 
  • 50g Vermouth 
  • 400g vegetable stock
  • 100g Fable, torn into smaller pieces  
  • 25g ruby port
  • 25g red wine
  • 1 tsp unsalt plant-based butter, plus 15g to finish
  • 20g crème fraîche
  • 10g parmesan cheese, finely grates (sub vegan)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon juice, to taste
  • Fresh chervil leaves, to garnish


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Rinse the spelt under cold water until the water runs clear. Drain very well then spread out into a large baking tray. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, stirring the spelt around occasionally to ensure the pieces are evenly toasted.
  3. In the meantime, add the saffron to 100g of hot water and leave to infuse for 5 minutes.
  4. Heat one teaspoon oil in a pan and cook the shallots and garlic over moderate heat until softened, but not coloured. Add the toasted spelt and mix well to combine. Pour the Vermouth into the pan and cook until it reduces to a syrup-like consistency. Add half the stock as well as the saffron water, cooking until the stock reduces almost completely. Add the remaining stock and continue to cook until it too has almost reduced. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside for 10 minutes.
  5. While the risotto is resting, heat the second teaspoon oil in a clean pan over moderate heat and add the Fable pieces, cooking until golden brown and crispy. Add the ruby port and red wine to the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reduces to a syrup. Add a teaspoon of butter to melt into the mixture.
  6. To serve, stir the Parmesan, crème fraiche and the 15g butter into the risotto and return to a low heat to gently warm through. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, if needed.
  7. Serve the fried Fable pieces on top of the plated risotto and garnish with chervil leaves.


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