Barlotto is risotto made with pearl barley, and it makes a really delicious change. It freezes well and is a great dish to have on hand to help you get through the weary down days of chemo or radiation. Pearl barley has had most of its hull removed and is relatively quick cooking. It packs more fiber and flavor than the usual Arborio rice. Add lemon and kale to the mix and sprinkle on some toasty walnuts like we did here in this Kale & Lemon Barlotto, and you have something, easy, tasty, and healthy to look forward to.
1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallots or onions, garlic and salt and sauté, stirring constantly for about 4 minutes or until the onions begin to soften. Do not let brown.
2. Add the barley to the pot and stir well. Add 1 cup of stock and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes, until the barley has almost absorbed all the liquid.
3. 1 cup at a time, add the remaining 6 cups of stock, letting the barley absorb most of the stock before adding in more. Stir often, it should take about 30 minutes. Taste the barley to test for doneness.
4. Once the barley is tender, stir in the lemon zest, Parmesan cheese, yogurt and kale leaves. Continue to cook stirring until the kale is a bright green. Taste for seasoning, then serve with chopped walnuts and some extra grated Parmesan.
Ann’s Tips and Tricks
If you’re too tired to stir, cook the barlotto in a pressure cooker. Follow the recipe up to the end of step 2, then, reserving 1 cup, add all the remaining stock to the barley and lock the lid. Bring the cooker up to medium pressure and cook for 10 minutes. Run cold water over the lid to stop the cooking and unlock and open the lid. Test for doneness. Add the reserved stock if needed and carry on with step 4.
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