Thursday, December 31, 2015

Barley Risotto with Swiss Chard and Radishes

I found this dish very hearty, and surpringly quick to put together. There was time to prep all the ingredients while the dish was cooking, which is very handy when working with a busy schedule or a crowded kitchen.

This dish comes from Martha Stewart Living and originally called for adding preserved lemon. I tasted the dish before adding the lemon and thought the flavors blended perfectly. Then I tried a bite with a piece of lemon mixed in, and found it way to strong, so I opted to omit entirely. If you would like to try it with the preserved lemon, be sure to remove the seeds, then thinly slice and add after cooking, with the herbs.

If you click on the Martha Stewart link below, you'll see that the food editors there opted to halve their radishes, which seems risky to me in terms of cooking time. And, it certainly seems unfriendly to those eating. So I simply halved mine and then sliced into half-moons.

Barley Risotto with Swiss Chard and Radishes
Based on a recipe featured in Martha Stewart Living but originally found in Sarah Copeland's book, Feast.

5 c stock
2 T olive oil
1 c pearl barley, rinsed and drained
8-10 radishes, trimmed and sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves cut into ribbons
1/4 c dill weed, chopped
8 mint leaves, chopped

Bring broth to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium heat. Remove from heat; cover to keep warm. Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add barley and stir to coat until toasted, about 2 minutes. Add 2 cups broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, until broth is mostly absorbed, about 5 minutes.

Add radishes and remaining 3 cups broth, 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition be absorbed before adding more, and simmer, stirring frequently, until barley is tender and creamy, about 30 minutes. Add chard and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes. Season with salt. Remove from heat and stir in herbs. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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