My mom has always made risotto and I have always loved it. Risotto is usually a dish of arborio rice slow-cooked in broth to a creamy consistency and mostly combined with parmesan, butter, and onions. You have to be willing to stand by the stovetop and slowly stir in the broth in small additions to make sure you have a nice and creamy risotto. If fact, if you order it in a restaurant in Italy, they will warn you how long it will take since the chef makes each dish individually. This recipe uses barley instead of rice, which is not something I knew you could do. Even so, this barley risotto is just as delicious as any rice risotto. I like this recipe without the mushrooms, since I am not a big fan of fungi, but I would assume that even with mushrooms this recipe would be delicious! I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I did!!
2 tbl. butter (Winder Farms)
1 cup diced onion (Utah Farms CSA)
2 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped (Utah Farms CSA)
2 red or yellow peppers, seeded and diced (Utah Farms CSA)
1 & 1/2 cups pearl barley (West Mountain Wheat)
1 cup white wine
4-6 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth (homemade)
Grated zest of 4 Meyer lemons
1/2 cup grated parmesan or swiss cheese (Beehive Cheese)
2 tbl. sour cream (Meadow Gold)
sunflower sprouts (Sunbridge Growers)
1. Melt butter in large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic and cook over medium, stirring constantly for approximately 5 minutes. Add diced peppers and cook for additional 5 minutes.
2. Add barley to the pan and stir until pearls are covered well with butter and are shiny. Add the wine and simmer until all the wine is absorbed. Stir often.
3. Add one cup of broth to pan. Simmer and stir mixture until most of the broth is absorbed. Add additional broth one cup at a time, allowing each addition to be fully absorbed before adding the next cup of broth. Continue this step when the barley has reached the degree of tenderness or chewiness desired.
4. Remove pan from heat and add in the lemon zest and cheese. After addition of cheese, season with additional salt if desired and ground pepper to taste.