I started out making a Scandinavian dish here but because blackberries are so loved in Georgia I went off on another tack, adding a bit of heat. This is really excellent with salmon – either fresh or hot-smoked – and mackerel.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 35 minutes
6 as a side dish
150g pearled spelt
2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tsp white balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper
1/2 red onion, very finely sliced
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
35g walnut pieces
2 cooked beetroots, cut into matchsticks
1 tbsp chopped dill fronds
1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
For the dressing:
A smidgen Dijon mustard
A pinch of caster sugar
1 clove garlic, crushed
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Cook the spelt in boiling water until tender (20-25 minutes). Drain and run cold water through it. Shake off the excess water and put it into a serving bowl with 2 tbsp of the regular olive oil, the lemon, vinegar and seasoning.
Make the buttermilk dressing by mixing everything together. Taste for seasoning.
Heat the rest of the regular olive oil and cook the onion until it has just lost its rawness, then add the spices and cook for another two minutes. Add this to the spelt, then toast the walnut pieces in the same pan for a minute or so, until they smell aromatic. Tip them into the bowl along with the other ingredients and gently toss together.
Drizzle with some of the buttermilk dressing (offer the rest in a small jug) and serve.