Per Serving: $1.13
This is what happens when you buy a bag of barley on a whim. Mostly because you’re going to make “fake oatmeal” with it for breakfast. And then you realize that it takes about 40 minutes to make into porridge, which is not really and idea amount of time to spend on breakfast. So, now: what to do with all this barley? Barley risotto!
With no stock or butter or standard herbs and seasonings on hand, I turned to a little jar of Pesto I bought for about $2.50 a couple of weeks ago. It’s really lasted quite a long time, and works as a good flavor booster for toast, eggs, pasta, and roasted veggies. This is the first time I’ve bought jarred pesto since the slow shift into real food (beginning in July 2011!), but it was pretty good. I’m hoping that basil will become cheap and abundant when summer hits so I can stock up on my FAVORITE condiment of all time! You can make it yourself too: Paleo Kale Pesto and basic basil Blender Pesto. They’re both better than the jar, I promise.
However, I will say that this was really really delicious. Even with jarred pesto! I tasted it a lot before adding the pesto, and feel that you could easily omit it if you weren’t in the mood. Maybe boost it with some dried herbs (basil? thyme?) and a splash of lemon juice instead.
Either way, I’m happy to have found a use for some of my barley…though I do feel strange making barley risotto in a land full of rice. It is kind of nuts how much rice they eat. Like for every meal. So much so, that their words for meals all include “gohan” which translates to rice. Asa gohan = breakfast, hiru gohan = lunch, and bangohan = dinner. Look, a recipe and a free Japanese lesson!
Taking photos here has been quite a challenge, as my cooking schedule is all over the place, and I feel weird setting up shop in the communal kitchen of the share house. Also, I don’t have any of my stuff. You know, like different backgrounds I acquired over the last year. I did bring my napkins though, so that’s something!
Thanks for sticking with me, people!Print
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 2 Tablespoons vinegar (white, rice, white wine, apple cider, etc.)
- 6–8 cups water
- 4–8 cups fresh spinach
- 2 Tablespoons pesto (try kale pesto!)
- In a medium sauce pot, bring the water to a boil. Reduce to “warm” and keep on stove.
- Warm half the olive oil (1 Tablespoon) in a large, deep pan. Saute the onions and mushrooms until soft and fragrant. Add the remaining olive oil and the barley, and stir to coat, sautéing another couple of minutes.
- Add 2 cups of water and stir well. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the water is absorbed. Continue doing this, adding about a cup of water at a time, until the barley is soft and the dish is creamy. This should take about 30-40 minutes.
- Add the pesto and the spinach and stir well. Cook a couple of minutes, just until the spinach is wilted.
- Remove from stove and serve!
- Category: Entree