I just got back from dinner at an old friend's. Like me, she is squatting at her parents' place in London. We're both migrant EU residents, in shock after today's blind-siding results. Two of my favourite lads were there too, at least, and the evening got off to a consolatory start in the garden with London craft beers, pickled cucumbers and heated debate.
It soon transpired that she hadn't bought anything for dinner. Or decided what she was going to make. It had been an emotional day, I’ll grant her that. ‘Shall we go and rustle something up?'
That's my calling card, of course. She knows me too well.
Thankfully her mother's exquisitely left-wing kitchen is impeccably stocked. I spotted Manchego cheese and courgetti nests, among other treasures. EU imports? Better learn to live without them.
I settled on a 'risotto' (grazie, Italia) of spelt and green lentils (Best of British), with lemon, barberries and fennel seeds. The barberries were from Turkey, which of course we’ll now have nothing to do with. Phew. Along with Iran and Syria, according to LEAVE campaigners. Should I be stocking up on pomegranate molasses? It’s so difficult to know.
Dad's bottle of Viognier (merci papa, et la France) washed everything down nicely. I was all out of battery so no pictures I’m afraid.
'Risotto' of spelt, lentils and barberries
For four, takes 40 minutes
main / vegetarian / nothing fancy / easy peasy / dairy free / perennial / vegan / store cupboard / on a budget
We were pretty pleased with this as an on the cuff 'rustle'. Tangy, fragrant and sweet, with a good bite.
Onion - 1, peeled and sliced
Garlic - 2 cloves, peeled and sliced
Spelt - a glassful
Green lentils - a glassful
Barberries - a handful
Parsley - a handful, chopped
Lemon - juice and zest of half
Fennel seeds - 1 tbsp
Fry the onion in a drizzle of oil and a splash of water until soft. Add the garlic cloves and stir for a minute. Add the spelt and lentils and stir to combine. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add 4 glasses of water, bring to a simmer and cover. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the barberries, parsley, lemon and fennel seeds and cook for another 5 minutes, or until all the liquid has evaporated. Taste for seasoning and serve with a green salad.