Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mushroom and Toasted Barley Risotto

This time of year, it is hard to find fresh produce! Luckily we have a local mushroom producer (Hazel Dell) and I have a little patch of greens growing in a sunny spot at home.

 Today, I have chosen to use barley.  It's a wonderful grain offering 5 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber in each 1/3 cup serving.  For this recipe, I've toasted the barley in a skillet over medium heat, just until it became fragrant and had a spot of color.


Hazel Dell Mushroom and Toasted Barley Risotto

Serves 2-3 as a side dish

1 cup chopped mushrooms (any variety works, or use plain white)
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbl Olive Oil
1 tsp fresh lemon, or balsamic vinegar 
1 cup quick cook barley (toasting optional)
2 cups boiling water, or stock (beef, chicken, or vegetable)
1 cup chopped spinach, arugula, or baby bitter greens
3 Tbl Haystack goat cheese or fresh grated Parmesan 
1 Tbl cream (optional)
Fresh Ground Pepper
Kosher Salt

Heat a 2 quart pot over medium heat, add olive oil and wait 2 minutes. Next add onions and saute for 3 minutes, then add garlic and mushrooms.  Continue to saute mushrooms for another 5 minutes. Add lemon juice and cook for 1 more minute.  

Pour barley and 2 cups of hot water/stock into pot and bring mixture to a boil. Cover pot with a lid, reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add your greens and stir until thoroughly combined.  The barley will not absorb all the liquid within the 10 minutes, but it will as it sits.

When ready to serve finish the barely risotto with a splash of cream, the cheese, salt and pepper to taste. 

This hearty dish can easily be turned into a  soup by adding 2-3 cups of a nice rich stock.


Chef Deb T