Risotto is a wonderful way to warm up this winter, and barley provides a tasty, hearty, healthful alternative to traditional arborio rice. I love to use roast butternut pumpkin and rosemary to give a sweet earthy flavour to my risotto and create the ultimate comport food on a cold winters night.
Cut 1 medium butternut pumpkin into cubes and coat in olive oil and dried rosemary leaves. Put on a roasting dish and pop in a pre-heated oven until they are golden and roasted.
In a large saucepan, over medium heat add a drizzle of olive oil. Add 1 chopped onion and a teaspoon of dried rosemary, stirring frequently until soft (about 4 minutes). Add 1 1/2 cups of pre-soaked pearl barley and lightly toast in the pan. Add a good glug of mirin (sweet Japanese rice wine) and let it sizzle. Add 1 cup of good quality vegetable stock - stir and allow it to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Continue cooking and stirring, adding broth 1 cup at a time (totalling 4-5 cups) until it creates a creamy, risotto-like consistency adding more mirin (or for a saltier bite tamari) to taste. Serve in deep bowls, top with roasted pumpkin pieces and (if you like) some grated parmesan cheese.
Delicious, wholesome, real food.
Your body with thank you :)
Love and light,