With its nutty flavour, the barley base is a delicious alternative to rice and the ideal match for some autumnal chanterelle mushrooms.
- 280 g pearl barley
- 50 g butter
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 tsp ground allspice
- 1½ litres hot vegetable or chicken stock
- 200 g chanterelle mushrooms, brushed clean
- 1 handful chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 5 tbsp sour cream
- 50 g Västerbotten, mature cheddar or parmesan cheese, grated
- a pinch of salt
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Put the pearl barley into a large dry pan and toast for about 3 minutes until golden brown, tossing regularly. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Add the butter to the pan with the onion and salt over low heat. Sweat for 5 minutes, then add the carrot and allspice. Continue to fry until the onion is soft.
3. Add the stock and the toasted barley and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the barley is tender. Stir occasionally and top up with extra stock if it dries out.
4. Put 2 knobs of butter into another pan and when it starts to sizzle, throw in the mushrooms. Season with salt and fry for a couple of minutes over high heat until golden, then sprinkle with most of the parsley.
5. Just before serving, stir the cream through the risotto. Divide the risotto between bowls and scatter over the mushrooms.
6. Grate a little cheese over the top and sprinkle with the remaining parsley.
• The risotto makes an excellent base for lots of different toppings or vegetables, and is a great one to cook when you have leftovers in the fridge. You could throw a handful of frozen peas into the mix, or top the risotto with flaky smoked fish instead of mushrooms.