At Sharpham Park, which produces British-grown organic spelt, they are working with Bowel Cancer UK to raise awareness about this amazing grain – and how including it in our diet can reduce the risk of bowel cancer. Cooked with beetroot like this, spelt makes a delicious starter, garnish or part of a buffet. Serve it hot or cold; it's up to you.
120g spelt, soaked for an hour in warm water
250-300g beetroot, peeled and cooked in vegetable stock (reserve the vegetable stock)
1 large red onion, peeled, halved and finely chopped
2-3tbsp olive oil
The leaves from a few sprigs of thyme
60-80g or more of fresh horseradish, peeled
Gently cook the onion for 2-3 minutes in a tablespoon of the olive oil with the thyme leaves, drain and add the spelt and add the beetroot cooking liquid – it should be treble the amount of spelt; if you are short, add water. Season and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until the spelt begins to get tender.
Meanwhile, cut the beetroot into rough 1cm dice and add to the spelt after 30 minutes; continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so until the spelt is tender and most of the stock has disappeared (add a little water if it's getting too dry or turn the heat up if it's sloppy).
Remove from the heat; leave to cool, stirring as it's cooling. Stir in the rest of the olive oil. Transfer to a serving dish and grate the horseradish over.