Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Barley Risotto

The question that comes to mind here is why? If Italian risotto rice works so well, why make this dish with a different, lowlier even, grain.

3 reasons; calories, glycemic index and price. Barley is very low G.I. at 25, has 75% the nutritional density of rice and costs less. Also, the barley version of risotto is bizarrely convincing, delicious even. Tonight I will make Arancini using the leftovers.

Barley Risotto

1 tablespoon or so olive oil
1 small onion, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
5 cups or so stock at a bare simmer
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions and cook, sirring frequently until they are soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook for a couple of seconds until aromatic.

Add the barley and stir until coated with oil. Usually I would cook the rice until beginning to turn golden and smell nutty but that barley seemed like it wanted to burn.

Therefore I started adding the liquid pretty quickly.

Start with the wine and, stirring frequently, let it cook down until there is barely any liquid. As my stock is not salted, I was adding a pinch of salt each time I added liquid.

Add the hot stock one ladleful (mine is 6 ounces) or a cup at a time, letting it cook down to almost no liquid each time. It should take about 50 minutes of this before the barley is cooked but not mushy.

When done to your liking, remove from heat. Stir in the butter and the Parmesan cheese vigorously to achieve a creamy consistency. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes and serve with lots of freshly ground black pepper.


No comments:

Post a Comment