Pearl Barley and Porcini “Risotto” | Pearl Barley and Porcini with Parmesan

Pearl Barley and Porcini "Risotto" | Pearl Barley and Porcini with Parmesan

Well, I have been known to be quite pedantic about what makes a risotto and what does not. I have this in common with Nigel Slater. It is a constant surprise the lengths some recipes go to, to be called a risotto.

But ok, this recipe is not a real risotto, that is why the quotes are there. But is is a dish with beautiful flavours, cooked with pearl barley which is stirred while it simmers, to cook it slowly. It is beautifully flavoured with red wine, porcini, pecorino, and, would you believe it, currants for a dark musky note and a hint of sweetness.

The amount of liquid needed to soften barley can vary, so stir in more liquid if the specified amount is not quite enough.

Similar recipes include Black Barley with Mushrooms, Risotto with Radicchio, Charred Okra with Spiced Tomato Barley, Barley Pilaf with Mushrooms, and Parsley and Barley Salad.

Browse all of our Barley recipes, all of our real Risottos and our Mushroom dishes. Or explore our Late Spring dishes.

Pearl Barley and Porcini "Risotto" | Pearl Barley and Porcini with Parmesan

Pearl Barley and Porcini with Parmesan

ingredients
1 cup boiling water
20g dried porcini mushrooms
1 l light vegetable stock or water (or as needed)
350 ml red wine
3 Tblspn olive oil
1 onion, chopped finely
4 Tblspn currants
1 sprig rosemary
300g pearl barley
150g pecorino, shaved or grated
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

method
Pour the boiling water over the porcini and leave to soak. Meanwhile, bring the stock and red wine to a simmer in a saucepan. Reduce the heat to low and cover.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and saute the onion, garlic, currants and rosemary until the onions are lightly browned.

Add the barley and saute for a further 2 or 3 minutes, stirring. Ladle enough stock or water into the pot to just cover the barley and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Repeat the process until all of the liquid is used and the barley is cooked. Then add the porcini and the soaking liquid. Simmer, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed.

Remove from the heat, remove the rosemary, season to taste, and serve topped with the pecorino.

recipe notes and alternatives
The amount of liquid needed to soften barley can vary, so stir in more liquid if the specified amount is not quite enough.

Be liberal with the black pepper, and don’t skimp on the pecorino – both are essential to the flavour balance.

Sprinkle with some green herbs (chopped) if desired. Serve with a light salad and some diced, very ripe tomatoes.

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Author: Ganga108

Heat in the Kitchen, Cooking with Spirit. Temple junkie, temple builder, temple cleaner. Lover of life, people, cultures, travel. Champion of growth, change and awareness. Taker of photos. Passionate about family. Happy.

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