Save it for a grainy day: Chunky spelt with chia & crab 


100g pearled spelt

300g fine asparagus

300g leeks (trimmed weight see method)

3 tbsp good olive oil

1 garlic clove peeled and finely chopped

100ml white wine

2 level tbsp chia seeds

finely grated zest of 1 lemon plus 1 tbsp lemon juice

500ml vegetable stock

sea salt and black pepper

10g unsalted butter

200g mixed brown and white crab meat

● Bring a small pan of salted water to the boil, add the spelt and simmer for 20 minutes or until just tender. Drain in a sieve and set aside.

● Cut off and reserve the asparagus tips. Finely slice the asparagus stalks, discarding the ends. Trim the leeks, halve them lengthways and slice finely.

● Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan and fry the leeks and garlic for about 5 minutes until softened and glossy, without colouring, stirring occasionally. Stir in the sliced asparagus, add the wine and simmer to reduce by half. Stir in the chia seeds and lemon zest, add the stock and some seasoning, bring to the boil and simmer for 5-8 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Stir in the cooked spelt and season if wished. You will have a light and soupy spelt ‘risotto’.

● Meanwhile bring a small pan of salted water to the boil, add the asparagus tips and simmer for 3-4 minutes or until just tender. Drain in a sieve, return to the pan and toss with the butter. Dress the crab with a tablespoon each of olive oil and lemon juice and lightly season. Serve the spelt in bowls with the crab spooned on top and the asparagus tips scattered over.