I’ve been reading and paying attention to many of the comments left on my current giveaway about what you would like to see more of on the blog. Thank you so much for your lovely comments they have been very insightful. A lot of you have suggested that you would like to see more recipes so I have one that I promised write up a little while ago. It seems even more perfect to write up this Italian inspired recipe now since only getting back from Florence a few days ago.
Pearl Barley is such an amazing cereal grain with an amazing nutritional value acting as a great source of dietary fibre and selenium. This delicious grain lends it’s nutty flavour successfully to soups, casseroles, stews, salads. It’s just a great all round grain. It’s also really cheap. I picked up a bag the other week for 39p-go figure!
The best thing for me about pearl barley is just how versatile it is and works as a side dish by itself or mixed with legumes and vegetables. It works really well with green lentils as in my Pearl Barley and Green Lentil Pilaf and now in this super tasty risotto dish…
*Italian Inspired Green Lentil and Pearl Barley Risotto*
Ingredients (vegetarian serves 3-4)
- 2 cups of pearl barley
- 1 can of green lentils
- 1 white onion diced
- 2 cloves of garlic grated
- 1/2 cup of broad beans
- 1/3 cup of chestnut mushrooms
- 1/2 cup of sliced courgette
- 1 stick of celery
- 1/3 cup of mixed olives
- 1/8 cup of sun blush tomatoes
- 2 tsps of dried mixed herbs
- 2 tbsps of balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsps of nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 tbsps of tomato puree
- vegetable stock
- seasonings to taste
First in a large pan start to sweat down the onions until soft and almost transparent and then add the grated garlic minding not to burn it. Pour the pearl barley into the same pan and cook for a few minutes until the husk on the grain begins to turn white. Pour in enough stock just to cover the pearl barley and continue to stir. The pearl barley will eventually absorb all of the stock. Next add in the courgettes, celery, mushrooms and broad beans and continue to stir. Keep adding the stock and allowing the pearl barley to absorb the liquid each time before adding more-just like a traditional risotto.
When the pearl barley is half way cooked add in the mixed herbs, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast and seasonings. Near the end point of the pearl barley’s cooking time (15-20 minutes from the start) stir in the green lentils, olives and sun blushed tomatoes just to warm through.
Serve up and enjoy! 🙂
What is your all time favourite grain?
Do grains make a regular appearance in your diet?