BY JOEY O’HARE
With the exception of the pearled spelt this recipe is raw, meaning it boasts plenty of nutritious goodness, as well as being quick and easy, and having a fantastic colour, flavour, and bite. The taste packed into this healthy bowlful is just incredible, the marinated mushrooms have a deep umami quality, and there’s with a wonderful balance of sweet and sour too.
This recipe serves 2 people.
For the miso marinated mushrooms:
2 large portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown rice vinegar (or other vinegar if you have to hand)
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon nam pla (optional)
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon brown rice miso paste
For the spelt:
approximately 1 - 1 1/2 cups Sharpham Park pearled spelt (www.sharphampark.com)
2 stalks of celery
4 spring onions
½ small cucumber
For the sweet chilli pickled carrots:
2-3 medium organic carrots
½ cup vinegar (white wine or brown rice is best)
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 red chilli, or ½ teaspoon of chilli flakes
toasted peanuts sesame seeds
First, cook the spelt as per the packet’s instructions, and then drain and allow the steam to billow off as much as possible. Allow to cool slightly.
If you are garnishing with peanuts, toast these in a preheated oven (approximately 5 minutes at 180 degrees); or toast sesame seeds in a dry frying pan on a gentle heat for 3 minutes.
In a small saucepan gently warm all the ingredients for the carrot’s pickling liquor, just until the maple syrup has dissolved and it gives off a little steam – there’s no need to bring it to simmer.
Peel the carrots, then, continuing with your peeler, make carrot ribbons; (lie the carrot flat on the chopping board and press the peeler harder than you normally would).
Submerge the carrot ribbons in the pickling liquid. The pickled carrot will last for up to a week in the fridge.
Whisk together all the ingredients for the mushroom marinade; make sure that the miso paste is well mixed in particular.
Don’t wash the mushrooms, but wipe with a dry square of kitchen paper. Slice them across their full width, approximately 1 cm thick. Submerge these in the marinade for at least twenty minutes; they can of course last in the marinade longer if you wish to prep ahead, but the longer they marinate the softer they become.
Finely slice the spring onions for the spelt base, and dice the cucumber and the celery into little cubes. These provide a cooling crunch in amongst all the hot, tangy, sweet & sour flavours.
Mix these green veggies into the cooked spelt. The spelt is deliberately plain, as this allows its natural nutty flavour to shine thought, and let’s it soak up both the miso marinade and the sweet chilli dressing.
Simply spoon the spelt into the bowls first, followed by the carrots ribbons and a few tablespoons of their pickling liquid, and then the mushrooms along with the miso marinade. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, peanuts and chopped fresh coriander as you wish! If you fancy adding some extra substance to this dish, as it is on the lighter side, marinade some crumbled tempeh along with the mushrooms for some plant-based protein.
Joey O'Hare is a vegcentric, seasonal chef and recipe writer. She trained at Ballymaloe and at Westminter Kingsway College in London, and had great success on Masterchef the Professionals in 2015. To keep up with her recipes, supper-clubs and events follow along on instagram @joeyscooking, and her latest project @foodwithtime