Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Kay Clarke
Hands-on Time
30 Mins
Total Time
2 Hours 30 Mins
Yield
Serves 18 (serving size: about 2 tablespoons)

This technique--which works with any cooked grain--was my favorite discovery of the whole book project. Frying turns whole grains into wonderfully crunchy, wildly delicious, nutty nuggets; it's a real game changer. Fried grains freeze beautifully, and there's no need to thaw, so I now keep them on hand--a larger grain such as spelt or farro and a finer grain such as quinoa or millet. The crisp bits are fantastic on yogurt or ice cream, as a topper for casseroles or creamy soups, or anywhere you want a little crunch. They're also a great substitute for nuts--good for folks with allergies. And don't worry: When the oil is heated to the right temperature, the food doesn't absorb much.

How to Make It

Step 1

Line a jelly-roll pan with several layers of paper towels. Spread spelt out into a thin layer on paper towels. Let stand 1 to 2 hours to dry out surface moisture, stirring grains occasionally.

Step 2

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over high heat until a thermometer submerged in oil registers 375°. (Do not use a smaller pot; moisture in the grains will cause the oil to bubble up vigorously.) Add 1/2 cup spelt to hot oil; cook 4 to 5 minutes or until grains are browned and crisp. (Maintain oil temperature at 375°, and fry in small batches.) Remove fried spelt from pan with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining spelt, 1/2 cup at a time.

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