I love love love pearl barley. It’s so useful and good for you. I bought it once because I was going through a whole grain and fibre phase, and I ended up using it in a risotto as a substitute for Arborio rice. I absolutely love this and won’t change back to Arborio unless I have a hankering for it. I vary with my garnishes but I generally keep this vegetarian as there’s just no need for any meat. The base of the risotto is below but you can put anything you want in it. Please enjoy, this serves 2 hungry people!
1 ¼ c. pearl barley
1 stalk celery
1 small onion
1 litre vegetable stock ( I use marigold stock powder)
2 tbsp. Philadelphia cream cheese
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp. oil
Roasted beetroot (If you would like the recipe message me)
Dice onions and celery, fry in a little oil until soft, about 5 minutes.
Add the barley and stir for a further 2-3 minutes.
Add a third of the stock and bring it to a boil. Stirring constantly, turn the heat down to a simmer until most of the liquid is gone. This should take 5-8 minutes.
When the liquid is nearly gone add another third of the liquid and bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer, cover for 5 minutes.
Next taste the barley and see if it’s soft, you want a nice firm texture but it won’t feel weird to chew.
Add half of the remaining stock and cover a further 4 minutes.
To finish add the garlic and the cream cheese, the rest of the stock and stir keep on a simmer with lid on until it’s smooth and done.*
*At this point I added sliced courgettes and cherry tomatoes. The heat will cook the courgettes through and give a nice crisp tastes. Then I top with my roasted beetroot and arugula to serve.