Spelt Polenta
A spelt and basil polenta - contributed by Michael Hobbes

Original recipe from Platina:

De Halica. Celsus counts spelt among the fruits of the earth of good juice, such as wheat, winter wheat, barley, starch, and all that he calls breadstuff. From spelt, nevertheless, and barley and rye, he says the best potions and gruels are made; from what Columella was pleased to call ordeum, while Celsus calls it oriza, which seems to be a derivative. There are those, however, who think that this is Latin, and not foreign.

- Andrews, E.B. trans. Platina. De Honesta Voluptatae. L. de Aguila. Venice, 1475. St. Louis: Mallinckrodt, 1967.

Modern recipe:

  • Celery
  • Milk
  • Spelt (rolled once)
  • Basil, fresh
  • Mustard, dried
  • Salt
  • Margarine 
Finely grate the celery. Next bring the milk to a low boil and add the celery. When the celery is thoroughly cooked and the milk has become flavorful, slowly mix in the spelt. Cook until the spelt is firm but not gluey. Remove from heat and add the dried mustard and salt to flavor. Now, chop the basil finely. Next, in a lightly greased pan, layer the basil along the bottom of the pan. Cover the pan bottom with spelt. Place another layer of basil, and repeat until the pan is filled with spelt 1" thick. Now, take a spoon and shape the surface of the spelt into waves, crests, pools, etc. Sprinkle with more basil. Finally, melt the margarine in a large pan and liberally pour over the spelt. Place in a 350° F oven for 1 hour. Do not cover as the spelt will rise. Serve hot. 

Adapted from: Price, Vincent and Mary. A Treasury of Great Recipes. New York: Charles Scribner & Sons, 1965, p. 110.

Spelt Polenta is featured in Coronation Feast of H.R.H Kenna

Metric, Celsius, & Gas Mark Equivalencies

Michael Hobbes is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, living in Columbus, Ohio. He was recently awarded the Laurel, the SCA's highest honor for arts & sciences, for his work in cooking.

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Spelt Polenta © 1998 Michael Hobbes | This page © 2000 James L. Matterer

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