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Pearl Barley and Mushroom Risotto
120g Pearl Barley
500ml Chicken Stock or two stock cubes
4 tbsp Olive Oil
1 White Onion chopped
500g Chestnut Mushrooms cut into quarters
125ml white wine
2 Bay Leaves
2 tbsp capers
A large bunch of parsley finely chopped
plenty of salt and pepper
Cook the pearl barley by covering it with water and bringing it to the boil
Drain it and then cover it with the 500ml of Chicken Stock (you can use vegetable stock if non meat eater)
Bring it to the boil a second time and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until the grains are soft. Set aside in a dish
Heat 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, reduce the heat and fry for 10 minutes uncovered or until the onion is translucent, not browned.
Next heat another 1 tabsp of olice oil in the empty frying pan until it starts to shimmer, add the mushrooms and cook over a high heat until slightly browned. DO NOT crowd the mushrooms in the pan as you do not want them to sweat, you may want to do this in two stages
Once the mushrooms are golden and softened, add the white wine, bay leaves, cooked barley and onion. Simmer gently for 10 minutes with the lid on. Then remove the bay leaves.
Finally, remove from the heat and allow to cook for 10 minutes. Combine the warm mixture with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the capers and parsley and mix. Season generously with salt and pepper before serving. Keeps well in the fridge for 3 days.
You can add soft-boiled eggs (halved) or chopped chicken/ham for a slightly more filling dinner.