Friday, April 11, 2008

Robin's Barley Risotto

Ok, this is probably the last post for a while (we'll see). In a few days the movers come to pack up our life and ship it across the Atlantic and we move to a temporary apartment in the city which I'm quite sure has only the absolute basic necessities in the kitchen for survival. I'll have to see what kind of meals I can turn out without all of my gear.

I came up with this recipe using the traditional risotto method but sub barley for the arborio rice when I feel like a healthier grain. I vary the veggies depending on what is available, but the combination I used last night gave a particularly good flavor. The first bite my little one took she turned to me with a big smile and a loud Mmmmmmmmmm ... which always makes me proud.

couple of swirls around the pan of olive oil
small knob of butter (1-2T)
1 small leek, halved and thinly sliced
1 small fennel bulb, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced + some of the leaves for flavor
1/2 zuchini, halved and thinly sliced
1 carrot, peeled and julienned into matchsticks
300 g. (1.5 c. approximately) small pearl barley
1.5 liters (6 c. approximately) vegetable broth
1/3 bottle of white wine (don't have to be exact)

Prep veggies, as stated above. Heat butter and olive oil in a large saute pan. When hot add leek, celery and leaves, and fennel. Cook slowly on a low heat with the top covered for about 12-15 minutes stirring occassionally. Your veggies will be very soft ... the fennel really needs to cook this long to soften. Heat up the stock. Add carrot and zuchini and cook another 5 minutes. Add the pearl barley and allow it to soak up any leftover fat in the pan. Next add the wine and let it completely absorb. Add a couple ladles of stock at a time and allow the barley to soak it up before adding the next couple of ladles. The barley is cooked after approximately 25-30 minutes. Let the risotto rest for a couple of minutes with the top on. Serve with a grating of parmesan cheese.


wirrek said...

I am very sad you won't have access to your cookware! I am going to miss your posts.

Robin said...

I'll do my best! We've finally moved to the temp place and I was correct ... there is hardly anything in this kitchen. I did save back my Kerri's greatest hits in anticipation of next month, perhaps!