Jack is Cooking: Barley and Asparagus Risotto with Chantrelles

Well Hello Internet!

This week i have a delicious and simple risotto recipe.  Usually risotto is made with arborio rice, but i decided to see what it would be like with Barley.  The results were quite delicious, and its possible that i may like this version better than the original!  I went for some classic and simple risotto ingredients using fresh asparagus and dried chantrelle mushrooms.  Instead of presoaking the mushrooms i added them early on and let them soak up the wine and broth in tandem with the barley.  This not only infused the mushroom flavor more evenly throughout the dish, but also let the mushrooms soak up the flavor of the broth.




Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 cup barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 lb asparagus (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup dried chantrelle mushrooms
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • olive oil

First you will want to make sure that your broth is hot, as it will work much better when it is added to the barley.  Heat your broth in a small saucepan and keep to the side.

In a saucepan heat up the olive oil, and sauté the onion until it is tender.  Add the garlic and sauté for just a couple of minutes.  Add in the barley and chantrelle mushrooms and cook for a few minutes with the onions and garlic.  

Add the wine to the pan and start stirring.  When all the wine has been absorbed begin adding the broth, a third of a cup at a time.  Stir constantly until the broth has been absorbed, before adding another third cup.  It will take about 30 minutes of stirring and adding broth over low heat for all the broth to finally be absorbed.  Test the barley every now and then to see how it is coming along.  you want the barley to be slightly Al dente, but not too hard.  

Add the asparagus at the very end with the last of the broth and then let it simmer to cook the asparagus.  

Mix in the cheese right before serving, and season with salt and pepper.