Mushrooms make a great meal and combined with barley make a risotto with a difference; a plus is that it’s baked in the oven, cutting out standing time at a stove.
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped 1 clove garlic, crushed
45 ml olive oil
375 ml pearl barley (375 ml)
60 ml pine nuts, (optional)
200 ml dry white wine (optional)
500 ml boiling vegetable stock
300 g white or portabella mushrooms, sliced
25 ml fresh chopped oregano or 10 ml dried oregano
25 ml fresh chopped parsley or 10 ml dried parsley
Juice and rind of 1 lemon
80 ml grated Parmesan cheese
1. Sauté onions and garlic in olive oil until translucent, then add barley and pine nuts and cook until barley is glazed.
2. Stir in wine, stock, mushrooms, oregano and parsley and transfer to a deep baking dish.
3. Cover dish and bake at 180ºC/160ºC fan/Gas mark 4 for 1 hour – 1½ hours until barley is soft and moist – add extra stock during cooking if on the dry side.
4. Add lemon rind and juice and stir in Parmesan cheese. Top with extra, chopped oregano and a drizzle of olive oil if desired.
5. Serve with a green salad or steamed green beans. Quite delicious!
• Use 100 g dried mushrooms soaked in 250 ml vegetable stock to plump them up. Add in step 2.
• Dish may be assembled and cooked just before serving, for best results.
• Make ahead of time and reheat adding a little more weak stock, as barley absorbs a lot of liquid.
• Check seasoning before serving.