Thursday, December 13th

Beet Barley Risotto Download/Print Recipe Here

Serves 3-4

 While risotto means ‘rice’ in Italian the risotto method is what this dish is named for. Creamy yet with a chewy texture, barley is a  nice replacement for rice in this dish. Optionally, serve this with wild mushrooms (recipe below) for a main course.

 Barley is a very nutritious grain- packed with fiber and lignans- important for maintaining blood sugar balance and heart health. Barley contains gluten, so subsitiute millet if you avoid gluten

 Ingredients

½ cup pearl barley (organic pearl barley from a health food store has less of the bran removed- it is less ‘polished’. This variety is best as it has more fiber and nutrients and still makes a creamy risotto)

3 cups stock or water

½ onion, finely diced

½ cup red or white wine, or unsweetened grape (or pomegranate) juice

Directions

  • Bring stock up to a simmer in a pot on the back burner.
  • Cook onion in some olive oil until translucent. Add barley and stir to coat with olive oil in the pot with the onions.
  • When the barley is coated and starting to make a ‘pop’ sound, deglaze with wine and cook until wine is absorbed.
  • Add one ladle at a time of stock and stir gently over low heat until stock is absorbed and barley is creamy but still has some bite. Season with salt. This takes about 30 – 45 mins so be patient- it’s worth it!
  • Add a few ladles of the beet soup-sauce and cook until the beet sauce has absorbed into the grains. The risotto should run from a spoon, but not look too soupy.
  • (You may have extra sauce, but the beauty of the soup sauce is that is can be either. Save the rest and serve as a soup, or freeze it in cubes and add a few to your next risotto.)

Wild Mushrooms with shallots and balsamic

Ingredients

1 liter (4 cups) chopped mixed mushrooms. (Choose seasonal mushrooms- chanterelles in the fall, morels in the spring,cultivated mushrooms mixed in if you like)

3 shallots, small dice

2 Tbsp cooking oil (sunflower oil is nice and neutral)

2 Tbsp nice balsamic vinegar (or brandy, or sherry wine)

4 leaves dried or fresh sage, chopped (or crushed if dried)

1/4 bunch parsley

Directions

  • In a large pan, heat oil gently and add shallots
  • Sauté for a couple of minutes, until shallots are fragrant
  • Add mushrooms, sage and a pinch of salt
  • Cook mushrooms down until they are softening (about 5 minutes), and add balsamic
  • Season to taste and add parsley, taking mushrooms off of the heat. Top your risotto with these succulent mushrooms
  • Or chill leftovers and serve as antipasti on crackers

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