How to make Savoy fish rolls with spelt salad
THE Nordic Diet will be making a surprising appearance on the menu of the Great Somerset Sunday Lunch at Wells Food Festival on October 20 – and it makes more sense that you might expect.
As a northern European country with a temperate climate, we share a huge cross-section of natural raw ingredients with Scandinavia, (the Nordic countries), including whole grains, berries, nuts, green and root vegetables, and cold water fish such as salmon, plaice, mackerel and haddock. Trine Hahneman, the Danish chef who will be providing the vegetarian option at the lunch in the town hall in Wells on the day, tells us that scientists and nutritionists at the University of Copenhagen have proved that the Nordic diet is as meaningful and viable an alternative for healthy eating as the Mediterranean diet. So as Trine says, to get the best healthy diet we really should be "eating out of our own backyards" – another endorsement for eating locally and sustainably.
Trine will be teaming up with local farm Sharpham Park, England's foremost producers of organic spelt, to dream up a delicious vegetarian alternative for the Great Sunday Lunch. It's likely to be "speltotto", a version of risotto made with pearled spelt.
Spelt is an ancient grain introduced from the middle east 9,000 years ago, similar to wheat but much lower in gluten, making it easier to digest. Carbonised loaves of Iron Age spelt bread have been found at the Iron Age site in Glastonbury, reinforcing links with the local area. Sharpham Park is involved in promoting the health benefits of spelt, in particular working with the charity Bowel Cancer UK.
Roger Saul, owner of Sharpham Park and founder of Mulberry, said: "As champions of British spelt, we believe that we have a part to play in communicating the message that a simple, high-fibre diet can make all the difference to reducing the risk of developing bowel cancer."
There will be an opportunity to try various spelt products including biscuits and delicious breakfast cereal spelt flakes at the Sharpham Park stall at the festival.
The Nordic Diet by Trine Hahnemann (Quadrille, £12.99) is available now.
For more information about the Wells Food Festival, visit www.wellsfoodfestival.co.uk.
Savoy Fish Rolls with spelt salad
8 big Savoy cabbage leaves
8 x150g plaice fillets
salt and freshly ground pepper
200ml white wine
½ leek, chopped
½ squash, diced
10 sprigs of lemon thyme, chopped
2 tbsp grainy mustard, plum more to serve
150g spelt kernels
300g green beans
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook the cabbage leaves in salted boiling water for 5 minutes, remove and drain them well.
Make the filling: heat the oil in a sauté pan, then add the leek, squash and lemon thyme. Cook for 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the mustard and mix well. Set aside.
Make the spelt salad: cook the spelt kernels in salted boiling water for 30 minutes. Drain thoroughly and put in a large bowl. Leave to cook down.
Preheat the oven in 180. Place the cooled cabbage leaves on a work surface and place a fish fillet on each of them. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place 1 tablespoon of the filling on them and roll them up. Put them in an oven proof tray and pour the wine over them. Cover with foil and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes.
When the spelt has cooled right down add the other ingredients all at the same time, mix well and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve the fish rolls with the salad and some grainy mustard on the side.