Pearl barley risotto

Pearl barley risotto

By
From
Nuovo Mondo
Makes
4
Photographer
Alan Benson

Here is a risotto for the vegetarians. Pearl barley is very tough, so it takes a while to cook as a risotto, but patience will reward, and if you like a bit of al dente food, this is for you. We prefer real spinach, not the loose leaves. If using real spinach, wash it at least three times. Blanch in a pot of hot, salted water for a few seconds, cool and squeeze dry. Chop and add to the risotto towards the end.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
olive oil, for cooking
1 large brown onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 red capsicum, seeded and chopped
1 yellow capsicum, seeded and chopped
4 fresh tomatoes, peeled and chopped
1 potato, thinly sliced
200g pearl barley
1 bay leaf
3 litres Vegetable stock, simmering
or 3 litres Chicken stock, simmering
english spinach leaves, blanched in boiling water then drained and chopped
100g grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
60g soft goat’s cheese
1 tbsp chopped preserved lemon

Method

  1. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan over medium–high heat. Add the onion, garlic and capsicum and cook until soft and tender. Add the tomato and cook for a little longer, then add the potato and cook for 3 minutes more.
  2. Add the barley and bay leaf to the pan, and then add the stock, a little at a time, stirring constantly – barley will not absorb stock like rice, so go slowly and continue stirring and do not panic. You can leave this alone (unlike rice). It is more a case of cooking the barley and allowing the stock to evaporate. There’s no harm if your risotto is a little runny – you can change its name and call it minestra (soup). Add the spinach, stir in the parmigiano reggiano and goat’s cheese and toss in the preserved lemon, if using.
Tags:
Stefano
de
Pieri
Jim
James
McDougall
Italian
Italy
European
Mediterranean
Stefanos
Stefano's
chef
restaurant
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