This is the easiest risotto, which minimal stirring required unlike most risottos. I love the texture of the high fibre barley, the wine enhanced flavour, and with the variety of vegetables it is a meal in itself. I combined two recipes and then gave it my touch, hence the versatility of the ingredients. The pumpkin is definitely optional, as it takes longer, however I love its earthy flavour.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 chopped onion or 1 chopped leek
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 1/2 cups barley
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup fresh diced tomato
1 cup peas
salt and pepper
grated romano or parmesan cheese
4 fresh thyme sprigs
1 chopped zucchini
1 head broccoli (about 320g) cut into small florets
1 kg butternut pumpkin, deseeded cut into 2 cm pieces
- If using pumpkin, preheat oven to 200C. Line a baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Place the pumpkin, in a single layer on the tray and spray with olive oil spray. Season with salt and pepper. Bake in oven for 1 hour or until tender.
- In olive oil, sauté onion (leek) and garlic until softened. Add mushrooms, cook until browning.
- Add barley, thyme, and cook for 5 minutes until lightly toasted.
- Add white wine, add 3 cups stock, tomato, salt & pepper.
- Bring to the boil, cover and simmer 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender.
- Add the broccoli and cooked pumpkin.
- Add peas, and some additional broth or more wine if needed, simmer an additional 10-15 minutes, stir in cheese, and more salt & pepper if needed. ( Be careful during this last 15 minutes that the mixture doesn't stick to the pan.)
So dear readers do you have any suggestions to enhance this recipe further? Do you enjoy cooking with barley?