Barley, Mushroom & Spinach Risotto

Oct 14, 2021 | 0 comments

Archives

Barley, Mushroom & Spinach Risotto

Barley, mushroom and spinach risotto

I had the cookery group round recently and we explored making risotti. We did a tomato and sausage risotto, a beetroot risotto, and this barley, mushroom and spinach risotto. Well actually, it was barley and mushroom risotto, I added the spinach the next time I made it and I might even add some garlicky roasted onions and carrots next time as well. They were all really good and I’ll be writing up the other recipes later on.

Risotti are very good vehicles for many bits and pieces left in the fridge that aren’t enough to make a whole meal with. So, that half tin of tomatoes, a solitary slice of meat, a few spinach leaves at the bottom of the bag and a couple of leftover roasted carrots for instance. What’s in there, have a rummage.

Can I make risotto without wine?

All recipes that I have seen for risotto use white wine, or sometimes red wine, usually 125ml in a 4 portion recipes. It’s a signature ingredient and one that I have used for years, but then thought about why.

The white wine brings flavour and a brightness of acidity, balancing out the richness of lots of butter and parmesan. Much like a splash of lemon juice or vinegar in a soup, right at the end. However, both and red and white wine vinegars have flavour profiles that are very similar to wine and can be substituted in many things.

I have started using white wine vinegar in soup that I buy in 5 litre packs and use for everything from descaling the kettle to that acidity in the soup. So I thought that it could probably do the same job in risotto, and sure enough, it does. You need to use 25% of the amount of white wine you would have used. So if the recipe calls for 125ml, use 30ml. If you use the whole 125ml, the vinegar would be much too strong and the finished dish would be unpleasantly acidic.

How Do I Make Barley & Mushroom Risotto?

Boil the kettle and get the parmesan ready by grating it for the risotto and shaving a little for the topping.

For 4 portions, sauté an onion and some garlic until transparent. Add mushrooms, thyme leaves, a beef stock pot, pearl barley and the white wine vinegar. Now add 500ml boiling water and simmer gently, with the lid on, until absorbed

Add a further 500ml water and simmer gently until the water is absorbed and the barley is soft and tender. This will take 30-45 minutes in total.

If it is not done yet, add another 250ml hot water and continue simmering.

Stir in the parmesan and remaining butter. Stir until evenly distributed.
Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if required, although if you use the stock pots, you won’t need any more seasoning.
When ready to serve, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and a few fresh thyme leaves

I first made this using a Knorr beef stock pot and it added so much flavour. The stock pots also come in chicken and vegetable flavours, so I’ll try those. And of course I’ll see what its like made with home made chicken stock – my favourite!

What is this risotto like?

It has a deeply savoury flavour from the stock which I really like. Next time I make it, I think I’ll experiment with a different stock. The mushrooms also contribute umami to this barley risotto.

The stock is super important in this dish, as it is in a risotto made with rice, as the barley or rice absorbs the stock as it cooks, adding a lot of flavour to the cooked grains. Pearl barley is often used in British soups and stews to give a lovely creamy texture to the broth and it is this characteristic of the grain that makes it work so well in a risotto. You must use stock in a risotto, it will be watery and disappointing if you just use water to cook the grains.

The pearl barley is wonderfully chewy and nutty. Barley has an exceptionally low GI, which makes it very sustaining, keeping you going for hours, and in this comparison, barley is superior to rice which has a very high GI. It’s so filling, you only need a small amount.

What changes can I make?

  • Use a different stock pot for a completely different flavour. They come in chicken or vegetable as well as beef.
  • Or use a home made stock, always delicious. Chicken is my favourite – it supplies so much flavour.
  • If you don’t want to use parmesan, it isn’t vegetarian, you can use another full flavoured cheese, a good strong mature cheddar for example.
  • Omit the spinach, or use shredded cabbage
  • Add some roasted carrot chunks, or any other roasted vegetables
  • Omit the parmesan / cheddar and sprinkle over feta generously

 

Would you like some more risotti ideas?

A leek and pea risotto with basa features in one of these 5 menus that feed you and a significant other, 3 courses for less than a quid each!

3 Course Celebration Menu’s to enjoy with your best beloved for Less Than A Quid Each!

Or here is a chicken and pea version as part of a series of posts on how to get 28 portions from 1 medium sized chicken.

Rubber Chicken (4), Chicken and Pea Risotto 84p a portion

 

 

 

Barley, Mushroom & Spinach Risotto in a blue bowl on a blue speckled plate, with blue handled cutlery
Barley, mushroom and spinach risotto

Barley, Mushroom & Spinach Risotto

No ratings yet
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Course:
Dinner
Cuisine:
Italian
freeze by Hare Krishna from the Noun Project
Freezes Well
,
No Nuts by Llisole from the Noun Project
Nut Free
,
Vegetarian by Philipp Petzka from the Noun Project
Vegetarian
Servings: 4 servings
Cost per portion 75p
Calories: 348kcal
Author: Thrifty Lesley
Click on the check box to cross off Equipment, Ingredients or Recipe Steps completed.
If you click and buy anything, I may get a small commission on the purchase. It won't cost you anything extra. Some are just things that I like and/or use myself rather than necessarily best value 🙂
If you enjoyed this recipe, would you please consider leaving a review? It would really help

Ingredients

  • 190 g pearl barley
  • 80 g spinach frozen
  • 250 g mushrooms
  • 100 g onion
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • a few fresh thyme leaves £1.25 plant
  • 30 ml white wine vinegar
  • 1 Knorr beef stock pot
  • 40 g parmesan
  • 1000 ml total amount of boiling, or very hot, water

Topping

  • a few fresh thyme leaves to sprinkle, optional
  • 20 g parmesan optional

Instructions

  • Boil the kettle
  • Grate the parmesan for the risotto and make the shavings for the topping
  • Peel and chop the onion
  • Peel and chop the garlic finely
  • Using half the butter, saute the onion and garlic until transparent
  • Add mushrooms, thyme leaves, the stock pot, pearl barley and the white wine vinegar.
  • Now add half the boiling water and simmer gently, with the lid on, until that is also absorbed
    1000 ml total amount of boiling, or very hot, water
  • Add the other half of the boiling water and simmer gently until the water is absorbed and the barley is soft and tender.
  • If it is not done yet, add another 250ml hot water and continue simmering.
  • Stir in the parmesan and the remaining butter. Stir until evenly distributed
  • Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper if required
  • When ready to serve, sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and a few fresh thyme leaves

Notes

you can substitute a strong and mature cheddar for the parmesan 

Nutrition

Nutrition Facts
Barley, Mushroom & Spinach Risotto
Amount Per Serving
Calories 348 Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Fat 15g23%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 37mg12%
Sodium 355mg15%
Potassium 506mg14%
Carbohydrates 43g14%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 2316IU46%
Vitamin C 9mg11%
Calcium 225mg23%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @ThriftyLesley or tag #ThriftyLesley !

0 Comments

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




Thrifty Lesley has an associated Facebook Group. Do come over and say hello if you haven’t already joined. I’d love to see you!

I’m a perpetual dieter, and to help with that endeavour, there is now also a Thrifty Lesley dieting group, a lovely, growing community.