Archive for ‘Barley’

December 15, 2012

Last Night’s Dinner: Barley, Basil, Broccoli

Barley, basil, broccoli

Three Bs make this simple dish, which, I know, isn’t done justice by the photo (my camera battery died after just one test shot). Let’s pretend it’s a great shot and move swiftly along.

Using pearl barley to make a risotto is a pleasant change from starchy rice. Usually we make it just the way you would in a normal risotto (for example, see here), but on this occasion we did something a little different, cooking the rice in stock on its own and making a separate sauce for extra flavour. The difference, here, is that the grains almost swim in the sauce rather than being bound together by it. If you like your risottos very loose then you’ll probably like this. This made enough for two.

The first B: Barley

Cook as per packet instructions and use about the same amount of barley as you would risotto rice. We simmered ours in a light vegetable stock for around 25 minutes until the grains soften to just past the point when they’re chewy.

The second B: Broccoli

While the barley is cooking, steam a bunch of purple sprouting or tender stem broccoli for four minutes then saute it for a few minutes in a little olive oil and with a clove of finely chopped garlic.

The third B: Basil

Again, while the barley is cooking roughly chop a bunch of basil and place it in the jug of a blender/liquidizer with two cloves of finely chopped garlic. Add 300ml of single cream and blitz to make a bright green sauce. Gently heat the sauce in a small pan.

When the barley is cooked, drain it and stir some grated parmesan (or other strong hard) cheese through it along with a generous nob of butter. To plate up, either mixing the broccoli through it or placing the greens on top. Pour the sauce around the edges of the bowl. Sprinkle some extra grated cheese on top. Serve immediately, or pause to take a bad photo of it, as we did.

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April 24, 2011

Recipe: Broad bean and herb salad

Funny old things, broad beans. And a little frustrating too. The discrepancy in volume between their fully podded selves and the individual, edible bean is huge. I’ve heard some people complain that they don’t like oranges because peeling them is too much effort. If you’re one of those people, then you’re going to miss out on the wonders of fresh, in-season broad beans. We love them. Of course, frozen, de-podded broad beans are available, but somehow the effort of removing the beans from the pods, blanching them in boiling water for a couple of minutes and then slipping the bright green beans from their skins can be all part of the pleasure.

In any case, when broad beans start turning up in recipes for salads in the weekend papers, then you know it’s definitely spring and almost the beginning of summer. This Yotam Ottolenghi recipe, here, adds pearl barley to a salad of broad beans and herbs – a nutty addition that also makes for a more substantial salad.

March 6, 2011

Recipe: Pearl Barley Tabouleh with Marinated Feta

We love the weekend recipes from Yotam Ottolenghi in the Guardian. This week it’s Pearl Barley Tabouleh with Marinated Feta. Pearl barley seems to be making a comeback these days. I’ve had it in a mushroom and celeriac stew at Canteen in Spitalfields Market. It’s a great substitute for Arborio rice in a risotto too. The thought of a tabouleh always makes me happy, so we must try Ottolenghi’s spin on it.

Recipe: Pearl Barley Tabouleh with Marinated Feta