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Creamy Spelt with Apple and Sauerkraut Relish

Serves 4.


    Making sauerkraut, a fermented cabbage rich in probiotics, is simple and affordable. Scandinavian cuisine is known for its use of pickled and fermented condiments such as sauerkraut, serving them alongside all meals for enhanced digestion and a crisp, sour flavour contrast. Enjoy this grain dish for breakfast with a poached egg, or dinner with roasted wild salmon. This will serve four as a side, and two generously as a main.



    If you don’t make your own, there are many store-bought sauerkrauts with “live” cultures. Look for them in the refrigerated section of your grocery store or health food store—they should contain just two ingredients: cabbage and salt.


    Creamy Spelt with Apple and Sauerkraut Relish


    • Sauerkraut (makes about 8 cups/2 L)
    • 1/2 large head white cabbage, finely shredded
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) salt
    • Creamy Spelt
    • 3 cups (750 mL) water
    • 1 cup (250 mL) uncooked spelt berries (kernels) or pearl barley
    • 1 garlic clove, minced
    • 1/2 cup (125 mL) cultured sour cream or plain yogurt
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) finely chopped fresh sage or dill, plus more for serving
    • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
    • 1 apple, peeled and shredded
    • 1 cup (250 mL) prepared sauerkraut, above, or ìliveî store-bought


    Per serving:

    • calories237
    • protein7g
    • fat7g
      • saturated fat4g
      • trans fat0g
    • carbohydrates40g
      • sugars9g
      • fibre7g
    • sodium282mg



    For sauerkraut, in your largest ceramic or glass bowl, with clean hands, massage cabbage and salt until tender and beginning to give off liquid, about 3 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes to release juices. Pack cabbage very tightly into large clean glass jars; add cabbage water from bowl to mostly cover cabbage, and place a weight on top (I use a glass cup that fits inside the jar). Place on tray or baking sheet and store in a cool, dark place (I use my basement) for 10 to 14 days. Remove weight, seal, and refrigerate for up to 3 months.


    For spelt berries, in medium saucepan, add water and spelt or barley. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer, cover, and cook until tender: 45 to 60 minutes for spelt berries, 20 to 25 minutes for barley. Drain excess liquid, add warm grains back to pot, and stir in garlic, followed by sour cream or yogurt, herbs, vinegar, and salt. Spoon into serving bowls.


    Toss apple with sauerkraut and place a scoop on top of warm grains. Scatter a little more grains on top and sprinkle with additional herbs.


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    This recipe is part of the Scrumptious Scandinavian collection.



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    Saffron Pasta with Lobster

    Saffron Pasta with Lobster

    Many of us have heard stories of bygone days when lobster was considered poor man’s food. Now the price of lobster makes it a special occasion treat, no longer something fishermen use as bait or garden fertilizer, which is all the more reason to avoid waste and use it entirely — antenna to tail. Ask your fishmonger to choose females for this recipe, only the female lobsters will have the roe (eggs) needed to flavor the butter for the sauce. (Raw lobster eggs are dark green and called roe, when the eggs are cooked they turn red and are called coral.) Making fresh pasta is easier than you think. If you’re not ready to take the leap, substituting your favorite dried pasta will still yield delicious results. This recipe requires you to work with live lobsters in order to get the roe and extract the maximum flavor from the shellfish. If this is something you object to, I encourage you to skip this recipe.