Friday, February 25, 2011

Risotto Style Barley with Winter Citrus and Arugula

My sister just received a beautiful cookbook Super Natural Cooking by Heidi Swanson,
and we wanted to try out a recipe. Since it was a super stormy night we decided this hearty risotto might just do the trick and boy were we right (and it worked perfectly with my recent super citrus kick!). What’s great about this recipe is you can substitute with a variety of citrus, greens, and nuts and all the versions come out delicious.

Ingredients (serves 4-6):

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
 (we used equal amount of red onion instead)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
2 cups lightly pearled barley 
1 cup good quality dry white wine
6 cups water (heated) 
1 Orange
Grated zest 1 lemon
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 big handfuls of Arugula, chopped
Handful of toasted walnuts for garnish

Begin by heating the six cups of water in a tea kettle on the stove. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, then add the onions, shallots, garlic, and salt and saute, stirring constantly, for about 4 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the barley to the pot and stir until coated with a nice sheen, then add the white wine and simmer for 3 or 4 minutes, until the barley has absorbed the liquid a bit. Adjust the heat to maintain a gentle, active simmer. In increments, add about 6 cups of water, 1 cup at a time, letting the barley absorb most of the liquid between additions; this should take around 40 minutes altogether. Stir regularly so the grains on the bottom of the pan don't scorch. You will know when the barley is cooked because it won't offer up much resistance when chewing (it will, however, be chewier than Arborio rice).
Meanwhile grate cheese, zest the lemon and orange. Chop the inside segments of the orange, catching any juice that might come out as well. Coarsely chop the arugula.

When the barley is tender remove the pot from heat.

Stir in the lemon zest, orange zest and segments, parmesan, and sour cream. Taste and adjust - add more salt if needed, more lemon zest.

Then stir in the greens. Garnish with toasted walnuts and a dusting of extra Parmesan before serving.

1 comment:

  1. It was delicious and definitely hit the spot! Pretty easy to make too!