Leek, mushroom and broccoli pearl barley risotto

I’ve got well into using pearl barley instead of rice for risotto lately. It seems to retain a lovely chewiness when you cook it, and more often comes out like a shit-hot risotto, rather than going porridgey as easily as rice can.

Softly fried leeks make this sweeter and more interesting than a simple mushroom risotto (and allow you to use bog-standard mushrooms without spoiling it) and while the broccoli was a last minute addition for the sake of getting some greens in me, it actually really added something.

I don’t doubt this would taste effin’ delish with some blue cheese, cheddar or parmesan added at the end, I used a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese which was perfectly nice, and a LOT healthier. Don’t judge me.

Click through for recipe.

Ingredients

100g pearl barley

1 leek, chopped

5-6 mushrooms, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

half a head of broccoli, chopped pretty small

1 litre of chicken or vegetable stock

a splash of white wine or vermouth if you’re feeling wild

2 tablespoons of cream cheese

salt/pepper/oil

Directions

Heat a bit of olive oil and slowly fry the leeks, shrooms and garlic on a medium heat for 10mins. Try not to brown them. Sticking a lid on will help.

Season with salt and pepper and add the pearly barley. Stir well for a couple of minutes to coat and begin to toast the barley. Splash in the vermouth/wine, if using, and allow to evaporate.

Ladle in a bit of stock, simmer until absorbed, repeat until you have about 200mls of stock left. This will take about 20-25mins.

Add the broccoli and the rest of the stock and simmer until absorbed. Taste. If the barley is still too chewy, add a little more water, absorb, and repeat until you have the texture of al dente rice. 1 litre of stock should suffice tbh.

Stir in your cream cheese (or actual cheese if you have that kind of RECKLESS ABANDON).

Season. Eat.

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One Response to “Leek, mushroom and broccoli pearl barley risotto”

  1. Ellie Says:

    This looks freaking amazing!!!! Slightly healthier than my fried sausages and left over boulanger potatoes…

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