I must apologize for not posting for the past few days. I’ve been in a real tear with my book, and blogs just fell by the wayside.
Fortunately, food did not, and the Barley Risotto I made the other night was absolutely delicious. I’ve never made Risotto with barley before, but it turned out remarkably flavorful with a slightly chewier texture than regular Risotto. It was also a lot heartier and healthier, and I think it perhaps is a dish best suited to Fall, Winter, or Spring. It was just a little dense for summer fare.
The sausage and tomatoes were a great choice for this dish as well. The texture and taste of the sausage complimented the barley very well, and the tomatoes gave it a richness of flavor while not being too sweet. I think there is a lot of room for modification in this dish and would love to hear if anyone tries it.
I especially enjoyed the bright color the tomatoes added to the barley and sausage. Beige food bores me, and I think that color is often a wonderful indicator of taste.
Barley Risotto with Sausage and Tomato
4 c vegetable broth
1/8 c (4 T) butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 c uncooked barley
1/2 to 2/3 lb sweet Italian sausage, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
3 large plum tomatoes, diced
Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Bring vegetable broth to a simmer and reduce heat to keep warm, but not evaporate. Melt butter in large saucepan and saute onion until soft, about 3 minutes. Add barley to pan and stir to coat with butter. Cook until the butter is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup vegetable broth and stir continuously while broth is absorbed. Once broth is fully absorbed add another 1/4 cup. Repeat until all broth is used and barley is fully cooked. It should be tender but still slightly chewy.
While you are cooking the barley, in a large pan saute the sausage for about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until the sausage is cooked through and the tomatoes barely hold their shape.
Mix the sausage and tomatoes into the Barley Risotto and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve and enjoy.