Barley Mushroom Risotto
Whole grain barley is a great substitute for rice and and works really well as a risotto. It is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain, full of fiber, with a rich nut-like flavor and a chewy, pasta-like consistency. Make sure you soak it overnight in water with a tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to reduce phytic acid and absorb all the important minerals.
- 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
- 12 ounces cleaned and sliced mushrooms
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup pearl barley, soaked overnight
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
- Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stirring, saute onion until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes. If they start to stick to the pan add 1 tbsp of water.
- Add the mushrooms and saute until they have released all of their liquid and are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Deglaze with wine and let it evaporate completely.
- Stir in the herbs and garlic, then add the barley and stir to coat for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the broth and bring to a simmer.
- Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add more broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed. In the end the barley should be tender but still slightly firm. You might not need all of the broth, but most of it.
- Remove the pan from the heat and mix in butter and cheese.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste.