Primavera Barley Risotto

by noshnosh (follow)
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Risotto is one of those beautiful Italian dishes that is hearty and nourishing, and great to cook together as a family. This variation uses pearl barley as the base grain, which is a low GI alternative to the usual Arborio rice, and boasts an excellent selection of fresh, sautéed greens.


Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 50 minutes
Makes: 4 servings

1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, sliced thinly
1 cup pearl barley
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups water
2 zucchini, chopped fine
1 bunch asparagus, chopped 3cm lengths
100g green beans, cut 3cm lengths
3/4 cup grated parmesan (plus extra to serve if desired)

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Over a medium heat, cook the leek until soft, about 2-3 mins.

Add the barley and stir through until just toasted (about another 2-3mins.)

Combine the stock and water and add slowly to the barley mixture. Allow the liquid to be absorbed first before adding any more, and continue to cook for 40mins or until the barley is tender.

Add the zucchini, asparagus, green beans and parmesan to the risotto, mixing through well. Cover and allow to cook until creamy and vegetables just softened.

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