Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto

Many home cooks are daunted by the idea of preparing a risotto, imagining it requires hours of standing over a hot stove stirring constantly.

September 11, 2014 | | Main Dishes

Many home cooks are daunted by the idea of preparing a risotto, imagining it requires hours of standing over a hot stove stirring constantly. But Gilles Roche of Gourmandissimo Catering & Fine Food Shop in Caledon East has developed a method, using barley instead of rice, that greatly simplifies the process and minimizes the need to stir until your arm aches.

His barley risotto, which combines the earthiness of wild mushrooms with the nutty appeal of barley, all set against a backdrop of seasonal root vegetables, is hearty comfort food perfect for fall appetites. The dish is a popular item on his catering menu, especially as it can be easily adapted to suit vegetarians and vegans. “Risotto,” says Gilles, “is very simple and versatile.”

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This barley risotto, which combines the earthiness of wild mushrooms with the nutty appeal of barley, all set against a backdrop of seasonal root vegetables, is hearty comfort food perfect for fall appetites.Photo by Pete Paterson.

Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto

Recipe submitted by: Gilles Roche ( Visit Website )

Ingredients

  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1½ cups pearl barley, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 3 cups mixed mushrooms (shiitake, oyster, chanterelle and button), sliced
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 6 cups baby arugula
  • 1⁄3 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tbsp chives, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Instructions

  1. Bring stock to a boil. Add barley, lower heat and simmer for 45 minutes.
  2. Strain barley, reserving stock.
  3. Heat oil in a large pot. Add shallots and cook until translucent, 1 minute. Add carrot, sweet potato and celery until they begin to release juices, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Add mushrooms, cook for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Lower heat to medium.
  5. Add cooked barley to vegetables and mushrooms. Add wine, stir until absorbed.
  6. Add reserved stock ½ cup at a time, stirring after each addition until most of the liquid has been absorbed and barley is tender and creamy, about 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in arugula until wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in cheese and chives. Season to taste.

About the Author More by Cecily Ross

Former pony clubber and lifelong horse lover, Cecily Ross is a freelance writer who lives in Creemore.

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“Barley works even better than rice because you can’t overcook it,” says Gourmandissimo Chef Gilles Roche. Photo by Pete Paterson.

Cooking with Gilles Roche: Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto

Sep 11, 2014 | Cecily Ross | Autumn 2014

“Barley works even better than rice because you can’t overcook it,” says Gourmandissimo Chef Gilles Roche.

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