Barley and mustard greens risotto

Barley and mustard greens risotto

By
From
Good Better Green
Serves
2

Most people, myself included, love a good risotto – a creamy, unctuous dish that comfort-food dreams are made of. But what risotto boasts in yum factor, it lacks on the nutrition front. Here is a toothier version that will hopefully also satisfy those looking for a little more green in their lives. Remember to soak your barley for at least 8 hours before you plan to make this. Mustard greens and rocket are pungent and spicy leaves, so opt for spinach instead if you prefer a milder taste. Serve with extra grated or shaved Parmesan and a tomato salad.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 medium onion, diced
butter, ghee, or olive or coconut oil, for frying
2 medium leeks, halved lengthways and sliced into half-moons
220g pearl barley, soaked overnight, or for 8–12 hours, then rinsed
500-750ml fresh chicken or vegetable stock, kept just below simmering
1 quantity * roasted garlic [rid:32989]
1 bunch mustard leaves, rocket or baby leaf spinach, roughly chopped
20g parsley, finely chopped, leaves only
110g fresh or frozen petits pois
50g grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
1 egg yolk, lightly whisked
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
pea shoots, to serve

Method

  1. Sauté the onion in some butter, ghee, olive oil or coconut oil with a pinch of sea salt over a medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the leeks and continue to cook until tender.
  2. Turn up the heat and add the barley. Add a ladleful of stock at a time, stirring until it is completely absorbed before adding the next ladleful. Continue doing this until the barley is tender, for about 25–35 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste along the way and stirring regularly. Remember that barley will never be soft and squidgy; even when cooked, the kernels remain chewy.
  3. Spoon 2–3 tablespoons of the tender barley and the pulp of the Roasted Garlic into a blender (or tall container if using a stick blender), and add just enough hot stock (about 60ml) to be able to blend into a creamy paste. If it is too sticky or stodgy, add some more stock.
  4. Now scrape the paste, which will help make the risotto creamy, back into the risotto pan, and stir in the mustard leaves, parsley, petits pois and Parmesan. Cover with a lid for a few minutes or until the leaves have wilted and the peas are cooked. Adjust the seasoning.
  5. Turn off the heat and stir in the egg yolk. The residual heat from the barley will cook the yolk and make for a creamier end result. Scatter over some pea shoots and serve immediately.
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