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!
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.
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.