Barley is a fabulously versatile grain containing gluten. It is one of the first cultivated grain and to this day remains the most consumed grain, globally. The most common form is pearl barley, which has the outer husk & bran layers removed. It is an important source of dietary fiber which helps in controlling diabetics, cancer, heart disease & obesity.
Pearl barley makes a good substitute for rice in this earthy mushroom risotto. Be sure to cook it slowly to get the right texture.
This recipe is adapted from the book Grains as Mains.
Ingredients: (Serves 4)
1 tbs olive oil
1 small onion, diced
200gms button mushroom*
225gms pearl barley (soaked in water for 30 mins)
120ml white wine
1 ltr chicken or vegetable stock
1tbs of chopped herbs (oregano, sage or thyme), I used fresh oregano from my home garden
Salt & pepper to taste
Parmesan or cheddar cheese for garnish
*you can also use mixed mushroom kit by Foodhall for different mushroom texture
- Heat oil in a and add chopped onions on medium heat. Cook until the onions are translucent. Add mushrooms and cook until soft.
- Stir in barley and cook for a minute. Pour in wine and cook for 5 minutes or until fully absorbed. Gradually add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring constantly, allowing liquid to be fully absorbed before adding more.
- Cook for 25-30 minutes, stirring frequently. Season to taste. Garnish with cheese and herbs. Serve hot with some crusty bread.