Spring Barley Risotto
2–3 leeks, white and light green parts only, rinsed well and thinly sliced
1 c. pot barley
1/2 c. dry white wine (I used sake)
salt and freshly ground pepper
3–4 c. chicken or vegetable broth
1 lb. asparagus, washed, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 c. frozen peas, defrosted
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 c. thinly sliced mint leaves (optional)
mint leaves for garnish
In a large pot or skillet (I have a large non-stick skillet that I used), heat up a bit of olive oil, add the leeks and barley and cook (stirring regularly) for about 5 minutes until the leeks have started to soften. Add the wine and cook for a few minutes more until the wine has evaporated.
Start by adding 3 cups of broth and a bit of salt and pepper, bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook and stir until the liquid absorbs – about 10 minutes. Test the barley for tenderness here, you want it to basically be ready before the vegetables go in so a tiny bit chewy is okay, but tender and almost creamy is better – add more broth as needed.
Add in the asparagus and cook, while stirring, for 4 minutes (I like mine still a bit crisp), then add in the peas and cook until they are heated through. Check for seasonings, then stir in the Parmesan and mint and serve immediately garnished with more mint if you’d like. Enjoy!
- Category: Barley, Vegetarian, Asparagus