Sorry about missing a day of VeganMoFo yesterday – I had a recipe planned but it didn’t turn out the way I wanted and so I didn’t want to post it! I’m back today now though, with a recipe that definitely did work well and I enjoyed making and eating!
Today’s VeganMoFo prompt is to use “unconventional grains” – grains that we don’t use very often. I chose pearl barley, although it’s not particularly unusual – and it’s certainly cheaper than a lot of unusual grains – it’s not one I seem to use very often. I don’t know why, because it’s delicious!
The great thing about making a risotto with pearl barley is that you don’t have to stir it as much as a regular risotto. You still stir, but then you go and sit down for a little bit before stirring again. It’s nice! Pearl barley also has a lovely hearty texture which is just great for wintery months.
The garlic and tomatoes in this recipe are roasted in the oven first – I find that in winter, it’s great to roast tomatoes, because it brings out the flavour that they lose a little due to not having as much sun. Try not to eat all the roasted tomatoes straight out of the oven though – tasty as they are…
Roasted Tomato & Garlic Pearl Barley Risotto
- 500g baby plum tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, halved
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
- 1 tsp salt
- several grinds black pepper
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tbsp tomato puree
- 250g pearl barley
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- handful fresh basil, chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F
- Toss the tomatoes and garlic with the salt, pepper, and 1 tbsp olive oil and arrange on a baking tray.
- Place in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, then set aside.
- Once your tomatoes are roasted, begin on the risotto. Fry the onion in the remaining olive oil in a large pan until softened.
- Add the roasted tomatoes and tomato puree and stir.
- Stir through the pearl barley and vegetable stock and bring to a simmer.
- Simmer, stirring regularly, for 40 minutes or until the water is absorbed and the pearl barley is tender.
- Finally, stir through the basil. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve!