Spring Dinner: Barley Risotto

A long time ago I swore I would stop making risotto. I love to eat it, but every single time I’ve tried to make it, I cook and stir for an hour, and the rice is still hard and crunchy. But I was so excited by my decision to make food that I actually want to eat that I threw down the risotto gauntlet (am I using that phrase correctly?) and made Spring Barley Risotto. Ok, so maybe it doesn’t count as risotto because it uses barley instead of arborio rice. Whatever. That’s probably why it worked and wasn’t like eating parmesan-encrusted pebbles. The recipe came from an article about the benefits of eating vegetarian, so I’m a little ashamed to tell you that I added shrimp. Which made it really, really good. I’d recommend it even without the shrimp, though. Yum!

Comments (6)

  1. Clog March 14, 2009 at 8:33 am

    There is a recipe for risotto in the new Every Day Foods that is done in the microwave. I tried it and it worked fine….I, like you, love it, but hate to stand there stirring forever and I don’t have three kids!

  2. paola March 17, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    Hi Julie, I’m italian, my name is Paola. I know you in the website knitty.com, and I want knit your toys for cats (I have two). My english is very bad but I try to write you the real recipe of risotto. First you have to prepare a broth, boiling meat or vegetables. Then in a pot cut an onion into little little slices, add butter (almost 50 grams) and brown the onions for 5 minutes. Add the rice (two fists for every person) and fry lightly for some minutes. Add one glass of white wine and do it absorbed. Then, always migling slowly, add one glass of broth. When the broth is absorbed, put another glass of broth, and so on until the rice is cooked. Then grated parmigiano or a similar american cheese. Remember, always mix slowly and add one glass at a time. If you want cook the risotto with asparagus, or chicory, or artichokes (or other) remember to add them with the onion, at first. The risotto cook in almost twenty minutes.
    How is to live in Maine? Ciao!!!

  3. Julie March 17, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    Hi Paola! Thanks for writing!

    Does it really only take you twenty minutes when you make real risotto? Any time I’ve tried it’s taken much longer, and then I just gave up and ate it when it was still too crunchy. How high do you have the heat?

    I am completely drooling from your whole description though. Yum.

    Living in Maine is great! It’s no ITALY, though!

  4. paola March 20, 2009 at 4:16 am

    Yes, twenty minutes, but on hot flame. It has to boil for all the time. Are you on FB? I wish have someone to write in english.

  5. Kaia March 20, 2009 at 10:14 pm

    Yes Julie – you definitely have to give it another go. I loooove risotto and have made many different yummy kinds (butternut squash, lemon-asparagus-shrimp, wild mushroom, evil lobster truffle, to name a few).

  6. Julie March 22, 2009 at 8:06 am

    Yum yum yum! Maybe some Saturday I’ll just do risotto day and spend the whole day perfecting risotto.

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