Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lemon Leek Barley Risotto

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Ever since I learned that you can replace rice with low calorie, high fiber pearl barley, I've been looking forward to make another pearl barley risotto. This time, I will not use 2 heads of garlic, especially not 2 heads of elephant garlic (like I did last time), which made our bedroom smell like a Chinese restaurant for a week.

For this not (okay, only a little) garlic-y lemon leek barley risotto, you'll need:
  • 1 cup pearl barley, picked over and rinsed
  • 3 medium leeks, white and pale green parts only, thoroughly cleaned, quartered length-wise and sliced thin
  • 3 medium zucchinis, grated
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 springs thyme, leaves only and minced
  • 1 cup dry white wine (I use two-buck Chuck)
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock, plus up to another 1/2 cup
  • juice from 2 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt to taste
  • chopped parsley for garnish (optional)
In a large pot or skillet, heat up olive oil over medium heat until fat shimmers. Add shallots and saute until softened, about 8 minutes. Stir in garlic, thyme and leeks and cook for a couple of minutes, until fragrant. Add pearl barley and white wine. Bring liquid to boil and then reduce to simmer for 5 minutes. Add enough vegetable stock to cover the pearl barley. Season with salt. Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. If the mixture looks dry, add more vegetable stock. Otherwise, do not add more liquid. Stir in grated zucchini and lemon juice and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Just prior to serving, stir in butter until melted. Garnish with chopped parsley and serve.

    1 comment:

    1. What a perfect combination - lemon and leek! I haven't yet used pearl barley often, been replacing rice with quinoa and bulghur, but I'm going to have to try this!