Barley in a risotto…why not? I came across a recipe for barley risotto in a magazine a while back and have had it on my food to-do list for quite a while. The biggest question in my mind was, would it be just as creamy as arborio rice? I was skeptical…but YES!!! It was SOOOOO creamy and delicious, and I found that I liked that it had more of a heartier chew than regular arborio risotto (plus, barley is cheaper than arborio, woohoo)! Reading through the instructions, you will see that you cook this pretty much the exact same way you would cook regular arborio risotto, but you just sub in some barley. Here’s how to do it:
If you would like to review a more in-depth recipe of how to make risotto and what’s going on with it, read my Brandy and Brown Butter Risotto post.
Yields about 4 servings
3-4 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 a small onion, minced
3/4 cup pearled barley
1/4 cup brandy, or do 1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup grated parmigiano reggiano (to taste)
1/2 lb asparagus spears, pre-boiled for 2 minutes
chopped parsley or basil, for garnish
salt and pepper
Pour the chicken stock into a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and place a lid on the pot to keep it warm.
Heat up another pot over medium heat, then add the olive oil. Add the onion to the pot and cook for 5 minutes, until slightly softened. Add the barley and toast for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Toasting will prevent the barley shell from breaking later on. Add the brandy, and cook for another minute until the brandy is absorbed.
Add the hot stock a little bit at a time, adding just enough to cover the surface of the barley. Stir the barley frequently. Once the liquid is absorbed, add stock again, and repeat this process for the next 25 minutes or so, until the barley is al dente. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan, asparagus, and herbs. Enjoy!