Spelt Pissaladière with Puff Pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Side dishes, Spelt & ancient grains

A beautiful French tart made with rich, sweet caramelised onions and topped with anchovies and kalamata olives, it's a welcome addition to any meal, picnic or sharing platter. The powerful flavours combine to make a taste sensation like only the French know how, so it's time for you to make room in your oven to bake a spelt Pissaladière!
Twitter brought this blog post to me. Rachel Cousineau at @lovelearncook recently tweeted that she’d just made a Pissaladière and it smelled good. Immediately, my heart was full of love and passion for this beautiful, traditional French tart (the Pissaladière, not Rachel). I needed some. Now. Before I had time to question my motives on that Tuesday afternoon, I was rifling through the cupboard, discovering all the ingredients were present for me to make a beautiful spelt Pissaladière with puff pastry, to consume that day. Sharing it with you, my reader, would be the only right-thinking course of action, so here it is, my beautiful Pissaladière. Caramelised onions. Those words are enough to send my taste buds into a dizzying spiral of salivary excitement. For many years, my go-to Pizza Express choice was a Romana Padana, a delightfully thin pizza topped with goat’s cheese, caramelised onions and mozzarella. It’s just…

Pesto aubergine tart

Gavin WrenBaking, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Aubergine pesto tart
By now you’re probably thinking “errr… what’s the deal with this guy and aubergines?”. I’ll admit it, I’m sponsored by aubergines. They called me up from their field based HQ and asked if I could write about them endlessly. In return I get sod all, because they’re a bunch of plants, have no currency nor do they possess suitable ID to open a bank account to store or transfer money. They even asked me for exclusivity rights to break up my talks with the poddington peas about a mutual tie-in. Ok, maybe that’s all fantasy. Maybe. In reality, I just like aubergines, they represent something very summery to me. So on those rare occasions that the weather turns the temperature up slightly, casting sunlight towards us and beaming a gentle, welcoming smile upon our faces, I cook aubergines. I’ve extolled their virtues for quite some time in dishes such as…

Spelt rough puff pastry

Gavin WrenBaking, Basic Ingredients, Food Techniques, Recipes, Spelt & ancient grains, Vegetarian

Spelt rough puff pastry ready for oven
Can I tell you a bit of a secret? This recipe got me really excited. Yep, a recipe for plain spelt rough puff pastry and I was over-the-moon excited. It’s not even a recipe that you’d eat on it’s own, it’s just a gateway to other kitchen delights, but for some reason, basic ingredients and techniques get me really excited. A bit like the oven dried tomatoes that were the subject of my first published recipe on this site. In that instance I turned a load of regular tomatoes into rich, sweet, nuggets of concentrated flavour by doing something pretty damn simple. And here’s that excitement again, but with baking there is something slightly magical about the metamorphosis that occurs. It seems so transformational, to take a few simple, pale ingredients like flour, water and butter, combine them, add heat, and the end result is a rich, flaky, crispy morsel…