Spelt is one of the oldest of the legumes or pulses. Neolithic man ate spelt, Bronze Age man ate spelt and it was very common in the Middle Ages. Now it is considered a relict legume–once common, now rarely cultivated. It is tasty and good for you and has not been overbred like wheat has. Sort of like a healthy mongrel dog as opposed to an hysterical and delicate overbreed purebred.
It’s mainly a winter dish, but cooking it now, in the spring, you can make use of spring onions and fresh garlic (the tender purple kind). I won’t give amounts because if you have ever cooked, even once, you won’t need measurements for this kind of dish. Q.B., as the Italians say. Quanto Basta. Enough.
Soak the spelt in water overnight and throw the water away in the morning. Gently sautée lots of fresh spring onions and new garlic in lots of olive oil. When the spring onions are very fresh, they are not hard to digest and you can kiss anyone afterward. So sautée them together with two or three small ripe cherry tomatoes, two sprigs of rosemary and, if you like, a chunk of Speck, a tender, smoked ham.
when the onions are tender, add the spelt and sautée it until it has soaked up the taste of the onions, garlic and speck. Add salt and then water. I use a pressure cooker, which is always clean and fast. You can cook the spelt in a regular pot but you have to keep stirring which is tedious. Surely you have better things to do with your time, like reading a book? Go check your email and read Doonesbury on Slate. Anyway, cover the spelt with twice the amount of water, close the pressure cooker and cook for 20-25 minutes.
When serving, add a drizzle of fresh olive oil and enjoy with some wholewheat bread. Delicious!