The pearl barley adds a wonderful nutty taste and creamy texture to this risotto. Dish it up with some freshly cooked kale or long-stemmed broccoli.
1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
120g pearl barley
1 bay leaf
1 vegetable stock cube
2 medium leeks (around 375g), trimmed and cut into roughly 5mm slices
50g Parmesan, finely grated
100g goat’s cheese, rind removed if you prefer
fresh thyme leaves, to serve (optional)
1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan and gently fry the onion for 3-5 minutes, or until softened and lightly browned, stirring regularly. Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds more.
2. Add the pearl barley and bay leaf. Crumble over the stock cube, add 900ml cold water, cover loosely and bring to the boil.
3. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Add extra water if the barley absorbs too much so it is nice and saucy.
4. Add the leeks and cook for 5 minutes or until tender, then stir in the Parmesan and season with sea salt and lots of ground black pepper.
5. Spoon the risotto on to warmed plates or bowls and crumble the goat’s cheese on top. Sprinkle with thyme leaves, if using, to serve.
COOK’S TIP Look out for quick-cook barley, or a mixture of quick-cook barley and other grains; this will only take around 20 minutes to cook but you’ll need to reduce the amount of water in the recipe.
ON 5:2 NON-FAST DAYS Increase the portion size.
NUTRITION PER SERVING CALS 306, PROTEIN 14g, FAT 14g, FIBRE 3g, CARBS 29g
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