Healthy Recipes: Dairy-Free Barley Mushroom Risotto

When on the menu, risotto is one of those dishes that is hard for me to resist. I typically split it with my hubby as an appetizer or if I'm out with a group, I like to order one for the table to share. Lately, I have been in the mood to try some risotto recipes of my own. Instead of using the traditional Arborio rice, I chose to experiment with Barley; a cereal grain with a nut like flavor that has a consistency similar to pasta. High in fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals, Barley is linked to improving digestion and reducing the risk of colon cancer. This Dairy-Free Mushroom Barley Risotto recipe has the classic rich and creamy texture even without any cheese or butter. The white wine rounds out the earthy flavor and the dried sage gives it an aromatic finish. It's my new favorite dish! Read more for the recipe...

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped yellow onion
  • 3 cups button mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste
  • Dried sage and fresh arugula, for garnish
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until they become translucent, about 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the mushrooms and saute until they have released all of their liquid and brown a little, about 10 minutes.
3. Stir in the herbs, then add the barley and stir to coat for 1 minute.
4. Add 2 cups chicken broth to the barley and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Reduce the heat to medium and add  the vegetable broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring until each addition is absorbed. Then add the white wine, 1/2 cup at a time until has been absorbed. Cook until the barley is tender and creamy but still somewhat firm, 35 to 45 minutes. You might not use all the broth.
5. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
6. Garnish with a dash of dried sage and arugula.

Makes: 4 servings

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