This recipe was recommended to me by a friend (and fellow dietitian), and it is awesome! Who knew barley could make such a nice risotto. It gets creamy but the grains stay nice and chewy, it’s a great combo! Barley also has more iron, protein and 5 times as much fiber as short grain rice.
This dish would look much prettier with the parsley added (if you’re trying to impress guests), but I didn’t have any on hand (personally I don’t really like parsley in it anyway!). The risotto thickens a bit once done cooking so keep that in mind and it keeps well to bring for lunches so make a big batch!
Mushroom Barley Risotto
Modified from Whitewater Cook With Friends
3 cups low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 large onion
4-5 garlic cloves, crushed
2-2.5 cups chopped mushrooms
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
ground pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parsley (optional)
Heat stock in a small sauce pan until simmering. Meanwhile, heat enough olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot to generously coat the bottom. Saute barley until slightly toasted, about 5 min. Add onions and garlic and cook until transparent. Add mushrooms, and saute for another 5 min. Add the hot stock a 1/2 cup at a time stirring in between, cooking until most the liquid has been absorbed, about 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Test barley, it should be al dente. If still too firm add another 1/2 cup water and continue cooking until done. Turn heat off, stir in cheese, cover and let sit 5 min. Season with fresh ground pepper and parsley.