Pearl Barley Risotto with Spring Vegetables

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Inspired by Pearl Barley Risotto by Daylesford in 'A Love for Food'.

 

The beauty of this dish is that it is made with pearl barley rather than rice so you can add the stock all at once because it cooks differently to rice.

Prep: 15 mins

 Cook: 50 mins

Serves: 4 

INGREDIENTS

90g butter

1 medium onion finely chopped or 1 large leek, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

285g pearl barley

125ml white wine (optional)

1.25 litres of good vegetable stock or 1.35 litres if not using white wine 

 

A selection of Spring vegetables making 300g in total, for example:

150g asparagus, thinly sliced, tips whole

150g beans such as edamame

150g peas fresh or frozen

Plus

4 Spring onions, white parts thinly sliced

100g Fresh greens – spinach, spring greens

 

2tsps fresh lemon juice

Fresh chives or mint, chopped

75g Parmesan cheese, finely grated and extra, shaved, to finish

 

Sea salt

Ground pepper

2 tsps extra virgin olive oil

 

METHOD

Melt 50g of the butter in a large non-stick saucepan or flame-proof casserole and gently cook the onion/leek and garlic until softened, stirring from time to time.

 

Rinse the barley under running water and add to the pan. Pour in the white wine and cook for about 5 minutes to cook out the alcohol. Stir in the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer for around 30-35 mins, stirring occasionally until the barley is tender and most of the liquid has gone. The consistency should be creamy and a little loose.

 

Stir in the asparagus, peas or other vegetables and the spring greens and cook for about 5 minutes until the vegetables are just tender but still have bite.

 

Remove from the heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese, the lemon juice and season generously.

 

Scatter with fresh herbs and parmesan shavings to taste. 

Accompany with Château George 7 Blanc

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“The fresh acidity of Château George 7 Blanc along with the floral aromas balance with the creaminess of the risotto and the lovely Spring vegetables. A wonderful pairing. "      
 Sally