Mushroom Barley Risotto conveys the gentleness of its preparation. Building on an aromatic triad of sautéed mushrooms, onion, and garlic, barley cooks slowly in simmering broth. Thyme, spinach, and porcini echo the earthiness of the grain, while Parmesan and sherry impart creaminess.
Mushroom Barley Risotto
Makes 6 to 8 servings
- 1 (1-ounce) package dried porcini
- 1¼ cups water
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 (4-ounce) packages sliced fresh gourmet mushrooms
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ cups barley
- 6 cups chicken broth, heated
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1 (5-ounce) package fresh spinach
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon dry sherry
- In a small saucepan, combine porcini and 1¼ cups water; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until very tender, about 15 minutes.
- Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add gourmet mushrooms, onion, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is tender, about 8 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually add broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting liquid be absorbed between each addition. Stir in thyme. Gradually stir in spinach until wilted. Stir in cheese and sherry. Add rehydrated mushrooms and any cooking liquid; stirring to combine.
For more nourishing recipes, see “Comforting Grains” in the October 2018 issue, available on newsstands and at Victoriamag.com.