Oven baked spelt risotto with portobello mushrooms, Stilton and red chicory

08 Feb 2021
spelt risotto mushroom Stilton red chicory photo credit @ritaplattsphoto

This recipe is from Alan Rosenthal's new book, Foolproof One-Pot.  Alan is a local chef, food writer, caterer and teacher who creates delicious and imaginative dishes with his weekly Crop Drop veg bag. Find out more about him and his recipes on his website or follow him on Instagram.

Photo by Rita Platts @ritaplattsphoto


There’s something deeply wintry about this comforting recipe. I love the nutty flavour of spelt and when combined with tangy Stilton, woody mushrooms and slightly bitter red chicory, you’ve got a match made in heaven.

Serves 4



3 heads of red chicory (or one medium radicchio)

3 tbsp light olive oil

25g unsalted butter

1 tsp caster sugar

1 red onion, peeled and cut into 8 wedges

3 cloves garlic, finely sliced

2 tbsp finely sliced sage

250g pearled spelt

150ml red wine

250g portobello mushrooms, roughly sliced

900ml hot vegetable stock

100g Stilton, crumbled

60g baby kale or baby spinach

Salt and black pepper



Preheat the oven to 180°C Fan.

Slightly trim the base of the chicory heads and remove any browning outer leaves.

Slice the heads lengthways into quarters and set them aside on a plate, cut side up.

Heat the butter and olive oil in your wide shallow casserole pot. When the butter has melted, brush the cut sides of the chicory with a little of the hot fat and then sprinkle them with the caster sugar.

Leave to one side until needed. Now add the red onion wedges to the pan and cook over a medium heat for 5-7 minutes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon until they are soft and slightly browning at the edges.

Add the garlic and sage and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the spelt and cook for two more minutes, stirring regularly to toast the grains slightly.

Now add the red wine and allow it to sizzle and bubble.  Add the sliced mushrooms and cook over a medium heat, stirring regularly, until the pan becomes quite dry.

Now add the stock with 1 teaspoon of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Bring to the boil, cover the pan with its lid and place in the oven for 30 mins.

Once the time is up, remove the pan from the oven and arrange the chicory, cut side up, on the spelt. Allow the chicory to simply to sit on top of the grains and mushrooms.

Return the pan to the oven, this time uncovered, and cook for another 15 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven. The chicory should have caramelised slightly.

Gently mix through the kale until it begins to wilt and sprinkle over the Stilton, allowing it to melt a little before serving.

Recipe type: