Mushroom Barley Risotto

This dish may not look much, I mean, it is a mushroom risotto and mushroom risottos are boring looking. However, the idea of doing a barley risotto or ‘orzotto’ has been doing the rounds a fair bit and I was tempted to give it a go for the sake of a little variety and a few fewer calories! I generally favour an oven risotto I think that they’re simpler and with equally good results being achieved compared to cooking on the hob with so much less time invested on your behalf!

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Sadly, pearl barley does not agree with my delicate constitution at all! So unfortunately I won’t be cooking it again, despite the fact that it is quite delicious. The barley adds an almost nutty flavour along with the chestnut mushrooms and instead of having a completely soft consistency like a risotto rice the barley has more of a bite to it. It’s sort of al dente. This is simple to cook you just pop everything in the pan and then pop it in the oven.

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Serves 4

1 small onion, diced
1 garlic clove , finely chopped
300g pearl barley
250ml white wine
400g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
1 tbsp thyme (fresh or dried)
1l hot chicken stock
3 tbsp Parmesan, grated

– Heat the oven to gas mark 4/180C
– Heat splash of oil and a small knob of butter in large casserole dish
– Add onion, garlic and a pinch of
salt and cook a few minutes until the onion is starting to soften.
– Add the pearl barley and stir well
– Then add the white wine and cook for one minute until the white wine is absorbed
– Add the mushrooms and the thyme and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are just starting to cook
– Season well With salt and pepper
– Add the stock and stir until everything is well distributed
– Put the casserole lid on and place in the oven to cook for further a 40 minutes
– Once it has cooked remove from the oven and stir through a knob of butter and the grated Parmesan.
– Serve with grated Parmesan and may be a sprinkling of parsley if you’d like an extra splash of colour.

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Filed under Easy, Low Fat, Mains

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