autumn harvest spelt pilaf
If your weekend was anything like mine and there was at the very least one to 17 slices of apple crisp skillet muffin bread involved, your Monday calls for spelt.
What is spelt, you ask? That’s an excellent question. It’s a grain, specifically, a species of hearty wheat native to Europe and popular in Germany (in other words, it’s the food of my people). It’s nutty and chewy and tastes kind of like farro, but also kind of like rice, but also kind of like barley — but in the end it’s its own thing and a tasty thing at that. Oh, and it’s good for you — like, packed with fiber, iron, vitamin B12 and protein good for you.
And when it’s cooked up pilaf-style with ingredients like leeks, apple cider, pecans, cranberries and Honeycrisp apples, it’s just the thing you need after a rather cake-happy weekend. Ahem.
I’ll be honest: I don’t think spelt ever would have crossed my mind as something to cook in my kitchen had Bob’s Red Mill not gotten in the middle of it. When they asked me to experiment with the grain to prepare for being a part of their Grains of Discovery Google Plus Hangout video series*, at first I was all “Spielt? Speeeeee-eellt? Schpelt? Pelt? What is this? Well OK then,” but then I tried it and I was all “Oh yuummmmm I love schpelt. I mean spelt.” And that’s the long and short of it.
But seriously, if you haven’t had a chance to try this good grain, you should change that. I’m just barely hopping on the bandwagon of farro and barley and other ancient grains, but spelt has won my heart hook, line and sinker very quickly. I love that it cooks al dente so there’s a good chew to the end result, and its mild flavor pairs well with so many additions, from cheese to cream to veggies to meat to fruit. You can make it like a risotto, put it in soup, use it as a side dish for chicken or pork, toss it into a salad, etc. etc. And once you try it, trust me — you’ll probably go a little spelt crazy, so it’s good to have options.
Oh, and fun fact: The Germans call spelt “dinkel,” which I think is just about my favorite.
Happy Monday, friends. Go cook up some dinkel and start the week off right.Print
Autumn Harvest Spelt Pilaf
- Prep Time: 5 mins
- Cook Time: 1 hour 10 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 mins
- Yield: 4 to 6 servings 1x
- 1 leek, washed, split and thinly sliced (green and white parts)
- 1 14.5 oz can vegetable broth
- 1 cup apple cider
- 1 cup uncooked spelt berries
- 1 Honeycrisp apple, peeled, cored and finely chopped
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Combine leek, vegetable broth and apple cider in a large saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil, then add spelt berries (do not stir).
- Reduce heat to a low simmer; cover and cook 1 hour until spelt is nearly al dente.
- Sprinkle chopped apple over the top; cover and cook another 10 to 15 minutes until spelt is fully cooked.
- Drain; stir in chopped pecans and dried cranberries just before serving.
Disclosure: I received a couple bags of spelt plus a full Grains of Discovery kit from Bob’s Red Mill for review purposes only. All opinions are my own.
Spelt makes for wonderful bread too. I love the sweet fall flavours of this pilaf, major craving for sweet food right now. At least with this I can do it moderately healthy way
This look so good and healthy and like the perfect Monday recovery meal! I love all the fall flavors!
So healthy and delicious! And OMG, I’m totally calling spelt dinkel now. Like I will never say spelt ever again, because that is so adorably cute and hilarious.
I have never had spelt, atleast I don’t think I have, But if this taste anything like that apple muffin bread which I made this weekend and it had me doing the Harlem shake.. I can get down with it.
Belinda — I need to make bread with spelt because I hear it’s amazing!
Tieghan — Def a good Monday recovery meal. 😉 Thanks, dear!
Laura — Right? Love the word “dinkel” 🙂
Erika — Ooooh, yay, I’m so glad you made it and loved it! This is pretty Harlem shake-worthy, too, based on personal experience 😉
So delicious and sooo healthy. My favorite kind of recipe. And dinkel! That’s class….Love it!
Well, yes indeed my weekend sounds a lot like yours, so I think I’m going to need to try this sometime this week! Love all the pretty fall colors! 🙂
I cannot wait to see this video chat for Bob’s Red Mill! This looks like the perfect side dish for Thanksgiving dinner!
HA! “dinkle”, Germans have the best words! And I definitely need this pilaf in my life after my consumption of burgers and beers this weekend.
I’ve never tried spelt but I love these fall flavors – this would make a great Thanksgiving side!
This is a brilliant use of spelt! I have a bag of it in the pantry and haven’t done a whole lot with it. I’m thinking a cozy autumn pilaf sounds wonderful!
I really need to get on the ball and try spelt! This pilaf looks totally delish….perfect fall side dish!
Maria — Haha, I love the word “dinkel,” too 🙂 Thanks, dear!
Marie — Haha, well I’m glad I wasn’t alone in the “oh-my-gosh-I-ate-all-that??” camp after this weekend. 😉 Thanks, friend!
Stefanie — Haha, get excited for all the awkwardness (coming from me, specifically ;))!
Lauren — Burgers and beers for the weekend, dinkel for the week. Sounds perfect. 😉
Laura — It totally would! Now all we need is for Thanksgiving to get here, like, tomorrow. 🙂
Julia — Thanks, love! I’m excited to try other things with spelt, too — it’s a new favorite!
Kelli — You definitely do — it’s a dark horse, but a delicious one! 😉
Oooh. I haven’t tried spelt yet, but I do love farro, so it sounds like I need to get my hands on some. And yes, I also ate about 1 to 17 slices of that cake… and I’m still eating it for breakfast this week. Love it. Sure I will love this too. (I also made your toasted grain bread last night and am really enjoying that too!)
This looks so awesome and definitely perfect after an apple cake filled weekend like mine ;–) I’m dying to give Spelt a try 😀
Megan — I love farro, too, and this is really similar! And I’m SO glad you liked the cake, and the toasted grain bread! I’m so happy to spread the carb love. 🙂
Consuelo — Thanks, dear!
Dinkel. Heh heh.
Sounds like a perfect cake-recovery tool. I hope you made some for your momma once she was sprung from zee hospital. Maybe some cake AND spelt! You know…have your cake and eat your spelt, too. Wait….
We must be on the same kind of wavelength because I literally JUST made a spelt berry recipe yesterday! (Although…it was kind of a mix of spelt berries, wheat berries and rye berries…but tomato tomahto). This pilaf is next on my list to make once I restock. Love these fall flavors!
Stephie — A dinkel a day keeps the doctor away! Or, something like that… ahem. 😉
Joanne — It’s a great wavelength to be on! 🙂 Thanks, love!
I love spelt – I use the pearled version in risotto, whole grain in salads and flour for baking. So delicious. This pilaf is next on my list!
Love the sweet and salty combo in this dish! It looks gorgeous!
I have been loving all of these grains from Bob’s Red Mill! Spelt is next up on my list and you can bet I’ll be making this.
thelittleloaf — I really need to try the flour for baking next; I hear wonderful things! Thanks!
Shashi — Thank you so much!
Jen — I have, too! Definitely pushing me to try things I’ve never cooked/baked with before. Thanks, friend! 🙂
MMMM!!! This looks amazing Stephanie!!! (And healthy – great for fall too!!!)
I have been wanting to try whole spelt! I’ve only ever used it as a flour, but I love love bowls of grains with veggies. So, this is right up my alley. Looks so good!
Beautiful recipe! This is my kind of meal. I love all of your baking, but, this is what I know I can do in my own kitchen. (I’m a horrible baker!) great recipe.
Robyn — Thank you, dear! Gotta love a good fall recipe. 🙂
Natasha — The whole veggie bowls with grains thing is quickly growing on me — it’s a good combo, for sure! Thanks, friend!
This is such a perfect Fall side dish! I need to hunt down some spelt asap 😉
dishing up the dirt — Thanks so much, dear! It was fun to go out of my own comfort zone and actually cook a recipe this time 🙂
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