Friday, April 20, 2012

English Pea Pearled Barley Risotto

I adore vegetables. I've never had a problem eating them. Even as a kid, I would clean my plate of its brussel sprouts and ask for seconds. Now, I look forward to and take advantage of seasonal vegetables. Spring!!! That means english peas. I love the color and the way they pop ...and it's quite fun to peel them from their pods. They're so limited, however, so grab them when you see them.

I used mine in a yummy risotto. The creamy rice contrasts so well with the texture of the peas. Mint and parmigiano reggiano are all you need for the fresh flavor. Instead of aborio, I used pearled barley. Its slightly healthier than aborio. Think wheat bread over white bread --not as healthy as whole wheat though because the bran layer (containing most of the nutrition) is removed for texture's sake.

Anyway, it's good. Here's what you'll need;

1 cup pearled barley
2 leeks, washed carefully and thinly sliced
1/2 cup dry white wine
14 ounces of vegetable broth
2 lbs of english peas, removed from the pods
1/2 cup parmigiano reggiano
1/4 cup fresh mint, chiffonade cut
olive oil

Heat the olive oil in the pan then add the leeks and barley. When the leeks are soft, add the white wine. Cook until the wine evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. Add 2 cups water and cook until the barley has absorbed most of the water.

Slowly add the broth (about a cup at time) and stir allowing the broth to be absorbed. You don't have to be as attentive as you would to a risotto with aborio, but you'll need to watch it. When the liquid is almost entirely absorbed and the texture of the barley is nice and creamy, you can add the peas. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the peas become slightly wrinkly and have that nice pop.

Finally, stir in the parmesan and mint, reserving a little for garnish and adjust the seasoning.

You're going to love this pretty dish! It's not too unhealthy either.

No comments:

Post a Comment