No longer a labour of love.
I do love a risotto, but all that stirring? It’s enough to drive a girl mad. The good news is you can make a rich risotto without having to slave over the hob — because with this recipe the oven does all the work.
Using pearl barley instead of your favourite risotto rice not only creates a creamy result you’d think had been lovingly lingered over, but unlike risotto rices, it’s high in fibre and is good for your heart by lowering cholesterol, earning it superfood status.
For this recipe I made another tasty tweak by turning it in to a risotto soup. These comforting bowls are especially good when it’s cold outside as they’ll warm your cockles right through — and unlike traditional risotto, they keep and reheat well the day after.
- 250g pearl barley
- 250ml dry white wine
- 750ml hot chicken stock
- 150g chestnut and button mushrooms, quartered
- 2 skinless chicken breasts, diced
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
- A knob of butter
- 50g grated Parmesan
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- Olive oil for cooking
- Finely grated Parmesan
- Extra virgin olive oil
- A handful fresh parsley, finely chopped
- Preheat your oven to 200°C fan oven.
- In a casserole dish that can go on the oven and hob, gently cook the onions on the hob until soft, then add the garlic and cook for a minute or two more.
- Add the pearl barley and wine and bring to the boil, stirring, then add the hot chicken stock and place them in the oven for 15 minutes, then add the chicken and return to the oven for another 10 to 15 minutes.
- When the time is up and the barley cooked through, remove from the heat and add the yogurt, parsley, Parmesan and salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Let it sit for 10 minutes to thicken a little.
- While that’s happening, fry the mushrooms on a high heat in the butter and olive oil, you’re looking for them to ‘squeak’ and start colouring on all their sides — the more colour the better.
- When you’re ready to serve, mix half the mushrooms through the risotto and serve the remaining on top with a little more Parmesan and extra virgin olive oil.
This is one of six recipes I created for Superfood, The Essential Guide — available in shops now.