Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Recipe: Pearl Barley and Green Vegetable “Barlotto”

Not sure whether Barlotto is something that I invented but I think it's a funky name so i'll use it anyway! It's basically a risotto made with barley instead of rice- just like risottos made with spelt (which we used to make all the time when i worked at River Cottage) are called "Spelottos". This is really tasty, and i would say it is one of my "signature dishes", as are any type of risottos in general. Basically, a lot of people think it's hard to make a risotto- it isn't, it's just hard to make a PERFECT risotto. I have entered this into Food For Friends "Signature Recipe" competition- and i reckon with this dish being this tasty, i've got a darn good chance!! If any of you guys fancy entering the competition too, get your skates on (entries ends 31st March!) and register with these guys, and send a lovely recipe in! The link for it is below:

Pearl Barley and Green Vegetable “Barlotto” (serves 3)

2 tbsp olive oil
Knob of butter
1 white onion, diced finely
1 celery stick, diced finely
½ tsp dried thyme
Splash of sherry
200g pearl barley
1.4 litres stock (chicken, vegetable, or a mixture of both is fine)
1 bay leaf
150g frozen peas
200g boursin garlic and herb flavour

Olive oil
Salt and pepper
9 asparagus spears (3 per person)

1. In a deep frying pan fry the onion, celery and thyme in the butter and olive oil for 10 minutes, stirring often. Add a splash of sherry and cook for 2 minutes (to burn off the alcohol).
2. Add the pearl barley and stir in to coat the grains. Add the bay leaf, and over the next 30 minutes, cook on a medium heat, gradually add stock (enough to fully cover the barley) and keep stirring. Add the peas and boursin, put onto a high heat, and keep stirring until the peas are cooked and the resired “risotto” consistency is achieved!
3. Near to when the risotto is ready, heat a griddle pan onto high with about 3 tbsp olive oil. Season the asparagus spears with salt and pepper, coat with a little oil, and chuck onto the griddle pan. Turn these occasionally for about 3 minutes, until well griddled- but not over cooked.
4. Serve the barlotto with 3 griddled asparagus spears per person, and plenty of cracked black pepper.

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