Pearl Barley and Mushroom Risotto

A delicious alternative to traditional rice-based risotto with a wholesome nutty flavour.

Difficulty: 👍👍👍

Cost: £££

Serves 4 people


175g pearl barley
12g dried mushrooms
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
Green part of a leek, chopped 1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
10 peppercorns
Salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon tarragon
Salt and pepper
250g fresh mushrooms

  1. Soak the barley in cold water for 1 hour.
  2. Soak the dried mushrooms in 50ml warm water.
  3. Make a vegetable stock by covering the prepared vegetables with cold water, adding the bay leaf, peppercorns & salt and bringing to the boil. Skim off any scum, then cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until thoroughly cooked. Bring the stock back up to the boil and simmer.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok and gently fry the onion for 4 minutes. Drain the pearl barley & add it with the tarragon to the onions. Stir until coated with the oil.
  5. Chop the fresh mushrooms into pieces and add them to the pan.
  6. Cut the soaked mushrooms into pieces and add them to the pan with their juice.
  7. Start adding the stock, a couple of ladles at a time. As soon as the stock is absorbed, add more hot stock, and continue adding it until the barley is soft and creamy (about 45 minutes).
  8. Taste, and salt and pepper as required.

Method

  1. Soak the barley in cold water for 1 hour.
  2. Soak the dried mushrooms in 50ml warm water.
  3. Make a vegetable stock by covering the prepared vegetables with cold water, adding the bay leaf, peppercorns & salt and bringing to the boil. Skim off any scum, then cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until thoroughly cooked. Bring the stock back up to the boil and simmer.
  4. Heat the oil in a large pan or wok and gently fry the onion for 4 minutes. Drain the pearl barley & add it with the tarragon to the onions. Stir until coated with the oil.
  5. Chop the fresh mushrooms into pieces and add them to the pan.
  6. Cut the soaked mushrooms into pieces and add them to the pan with their juice.
  7. Start adding the stock, a couple of ladles at a time. As soon as the stock is absorbed, add more hot stock, and continue adding it until the barley is soft and creamy (about 45 minutes).
  8. Taste, and salt and pepper as required.

Ingredients

175g pearl barley
12g dried mushrooms
1 carrot, chopped
1 stick of celery, chopped
Green part of a leek, chopped 1 garlic clove
1 bay leaf
10 peppercorns
Salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon tarragon
Salt and pepper
250g fresh mushrooms


Whole spelt grains can be used instead of the pearl barley. Serve with a green salad and some crusty bread.

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