Friday, December 19, 2008

Barley Risotto with Wild Mushrooms

Barley Risotto


Okay. You know what I just discovered? Risotto in the pressure cooker! And you want to know what else I just discovered? Barley risotto! To be more specific, barley risotto in the pressure cooker. Oh my goodness. Did you all know that you could make risottos in the pressure cooker?? I had no idea. I've been trying to add more whole grain recipes to my weekly cooking, and decided that I really had to have Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way by Lorna Sass. She is already the queen of pressure cookers, so I'm not surprised that she has included several pressure cooker recipes for whole grains.

This was wonderful! It was warm and comforting and filling and best of all ready in about 30 minutes from start to finish! Really! I am not a vegetarian and unlike a lot of vegetarian recipes, this did not leave me feeling like I was missing something. My store didn't have any porcini mushrooms, so I used some shitakes instead (they weren't dehydrated, but I soaked them in the water anyway). Serve this with a salad and you have a very easy weeknight meal!

Barley Risotto with Wild Mushrooms
Serves 4 - 6

1/2 ounce (about 1/2 cup) dried porcini or other dried mushrooms, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks (white and light green parts)
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons black barley (optional)
1/3 cup dry sherry (or red wine)
3 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3-6 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
3 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Place the mushrooms in a glass bowl and pour 2 cups of boiling water over them. Cover and let soak.

In a 4-quart or larger pressure cooker, heat the oil. Add the leeks and the fennel seeds and cook over medium-high heat, stirring often, until leeks are softened, about 4 minutes.

Stir in the barley, stirring it to coat it with the oil. Add the sherry and cook until it evaporates. Stir in the broth. Add the soaked mushrooms with their soaking liquid, taking care to not pour in any grit that may have settled in the bottom of the bowl.

Lock the pressure cooker lid in place and bring the cooker up to high pressure over high heat. Reduce the heat to maintain the pressure at high and cook for 18 minutes. Release the pressure by placing the cooker under cold running water. Remove the lid, being careful to tilt it away from you to avoid the steam.

Set the cooker, uncovered, over high heat and cook, stirring frequently until the barley is tender (it will still be a little chewy) and the mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the Parmesan and add the parsley. Add salt and pepper to taste.

To serve, ladle it into bowls, and top with Parmesan if desired.

13 comments:

Pearl said...

mmm that looks so good and wow! a pressure cooker? how cool!

Kathy said...

This sounds soooo good. I know my hubby wouldn't eat it because of the mushrooms but I may have to make it anyway.

Peter M said...

I recently tried a good barley risotto and I'm inclined to make my own.

Glad you're a pressure cooker proponent...they are a must in the kitchen.

Marjie said...

Maybe I need a pressure cooker. I won't put in mushrooms, because at least half of us won't eat them. Another great offering, Pam!

Carla said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe and your results. I am going to make this. Lorna Sass' Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure is another great cookbook! "2 hour taste in 10 minutes"--SO TRUE!!!

Carla said...

PS I am new to fennel seeds. Did you use them--was it very 'licorice-y'? Will you use them again. Thank you. Carla

Kalyn said...

Wonderful! I love barley risotto.

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I love barley risotto, and I've been up in the air about getting a pressure cooker. This just might push me over the edge!

noble pig said...

In a pressure cooker? Really? Wow, what a great idea.

Grace said...

talk about a day of discoveries, and both are so useful! thanks for sharing--i never, ever would've known otherwise. :)

Kevin said...

Barley risotto is good and a wild mushroom barley risotto sounds great!

Lisa said...

I have tried Oven Risotto but risotto in the pressure cooker is genius. Your recipe sounds fantastic and the photos are mouth watering. Looking at the snow outside my window I am thinking how wonderful it would taste right now!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I've never made risotto, but this sounds delicious with the mushrooms. Need to add pressure cooker to my wish list.