Thursday, June 21

Kale & Onion Barley Risotto

I love cooking with whole grains like quinoa and farro (see favorite recipes here and here) and my latest obsession is pearled barley. The barley has a nice toothsome texture and is similar in size to aborio rice, so I decided to try my hand at making risotto out of it. I’ve seen the concept in other recipes, but since I rarely cook traditional risotto because of the timeliness, I tried to make it using my oven-baked shortcut and it turned out perfectly. This version folds in kale and red onions and contains no butter to keep it extra healthy, making it the perfect wholesome, fast, and cheap weeknight meal.

Kale & Onion Barley Risotto:
  • Add 2 1/2 c. vegetable stock and 3/4 c. pearled barley to a small dutch oven.
  • Place the lid on the pot and bake in a 350F oven for 45-60 minutes, or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the barley is tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet and add in 1 thinly sliced red onion.
  • Cook the onion for 6-8 minutes, or until soft, then add in 1 large pinch of red chili flakes, 1 head of thinly sliced lacinato kale (ribs removed), salt, and pepper.
  • Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until wilted, then add in 1/2 c. vegetable stock and cook until kale is tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the barley from the oven and immediately add in a large handful of Parmesan cheese, 1/2 c. vegetable stock, 1/2 c. white wine, and salt. 
  • Stir vigorously for 2-3 minutes, or until barley gets a creamy consistency.
  • Stir in the vegetables and serve.

Serves two - three (main course)
Serve four - six (side dish)