We’re trying to work our way through all the food in the larder at our family home. My mother likes to be prepared for the Final Apocalypse, so this may take some time.
I quite enjoy the Ready, Steady Cook element of it all as I poke about in the fridge looking for the item with the nearest Use By date. Yesterday I hoiked out leeks, spinach & mushrooms. Muv contributed wheat berries* from the apocalypse stash.
So for two (takes about 15 minutes):
Boil up enough wheat berries for two people according to packet instructions, when cooked, drain and put back into saucepan. Take a large frying pan. Butter & olive oil. Thin sliced whites & pale green bits of one medium trimmed leek. Sweat said leek over low-medium heat until soft. Throw in couple of handfuls of chopped (not sliced) mushrooms, good pinch of Maldon salt.
When everything is cooked, add two enormous handfuls of spinach on top of the leeks & mushrooms, add a tablespoon of water, then slam a lid on top.
Peer in two minutes later. Preferably not wearing glasses like me as they will steam up, you will curse loudly, burn your fingers, drop the lid, and tread on the whippet.
Hopefully the spinach will be perfectly wilted by now, as opposed to completely melted into nothing-ness. Mix it into the leeks & mushrooms, and pour in two tablespoons of cream, & a tablespoon of Dijon moustard. Bubble it all up for a few minutes, and grind over lots of black pepper.
Mix it all into the reserved wheat berries and pop it back on the heat just to make sure it’s all lovely and hot. Check seasoning. Eat.
*Wheat berries are whole wheat kernels, which look like a cross between orzo, barley and brown rice. The packet we found at the back of the larder was from Merchant Gourmet, who sell them under the name ‘pasta wheat’, but you can find wheat berries in any health food shop.
When boiled, they are pretty much like barley, and can be cooked into a wheat version of orzotto or into a kind of pilaf. Equally they can be just cooked plain in plenty of salted water and used as you would any other grain; they are great in salads.