In my house we love pearl barley cooked this way.
Taking inspiration from Italian risotto, the pearl barley is firstly fried on oil and then cooked in a small amout of liquid until it is soaked completely. You repeate adding liquid until the pearl barley is soft and ready. The variety of flavours is endless. You can add your favourite veggies, mushrooms, meat or even sea food.
My dish is full of autumn flavours. It is a little bit sweet, a little bit salty. You will find different flavours and textures here, what makes it exciting and most of all- delicious.
Makes 4 servings
- 200 grams pearl barley (uncooked)
- 300 grams pumpkin, cut in 1cm cubes
- 1 medium, baked beetroot, cut in 1cm cubes
- 1 onion, firnely chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, whole and unpealed
- 1 tbsp oil
- 3 tbsp butter
- 500 ml natural apple juice
- 500 ml veggie stock
- 1/2 medium apple, diced quite finely
- 2 tbsp green parsley
- 40-50 grams feta cheese
- roasted pumpkin seeds for decoration
- beetroot micro leaves or sprouts for decoration
- salt, pepper to taste
On a pan or large saucepan heat an oil and melt the butter.
Add whole garlic cloves and fry them on a low heat, until they realease their aroma. Remove them from a pan.
Add chopped onion and fry until they begin to soften.
Add the pearl barley and stir well to coat it in oil.
Pour a splash of apple juice and stock and stir every now and then until it has all disappeared into the pearl barley.
Add pumpkin cubes.
Carry on adding and stirring in a large splash of juice and stock at a time, until you have used up all the liquid.
Just before the pearl barley is soft and cooked add chopped beetroot and finely chopped apple. They should warm up but apple should stay firm and crispy.
Pear barley risotto should be quite runny.
Stir in a green parsley. Season with salt and pepper.
Transfer the pear barley risotto on a serving plate. Crumble some feta on top. Add roasted pumpkin seeds and beetroot micro leaves or sprouts.