Beet Barley Risotto
makes 3 servings
Barley is a warming grain. It contains some amount of gluten, but for those who are not bothered by gluten, is a very nutritious grain! It has notable amounts of niacin, a B vitamin that is connected to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. High in fiber, it is also a cholesterol-lowering food!
For this recipe, make the soup-sauce first and then the risotto.
Makes about 3 cups (enough for one recipe)
1 medium beet, roasted, peeled and chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
salt to taste
enough water or stock to cover the beet
How to roast beets:
Roast washed whole beets in 1 inch of water in a covered casserole dish.
Bake at 350F until beets are fork tender. ( about 90 mins, but depends on the beet!)
Cool slightly and peel by rubbing the skins off with your fingers or a towel (not your favourite white towel!)
- Add thyme and roasted beets to blender.
- Add stock or water to cover (start with 2 cups and add more to attain a smooth consistency.)
- Blend until smooth.
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.
- 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.