It was the first time I tried making barley risotto and found it’s a very nice alternative to the traditional rice based kind. Usually I like to bite into the texture of the added ingredients to the dish but, mashing the broccoli allows a nice balance with each bite you take. One great thing with this dish or any kind of risotto is when you have some leftovers. I often make an extra portion and the following day I make croquettes out of it. Usually I just shape the rice or barley into little balls, eventually I dip them into an egg wash and then I coat them with breadcrumbs and brown them in a pan with a little olive oil. When I was small, I used to look forward to the day-after risotto makeover…
Smooth Barley and Broccoli Risotto (Orzotto)
Recipe for 4
Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 30-35 min
300 g blanched broccoli florets
1.2 l vegetable stock (hot)
80-100 g Grated cheese (Sbrinz, Parmesan, Grana…)
5 tbsp butter
300 g pearled barley
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
1 pinch salt
Process the broccoli until pureed and set aside.
Chop the onion and place it in a pan with 1-2 tbsp. butter, cook until soft, about 4-5 min. Turn up the heat and add the barley, toss and cook for about a minute. Add the lemon juice and the zest while wile you keep on stirring.
Once the lemon has been absorbed into the rice, reduce heat and start adding 1 ladle of stock with a pinch of salt while continuously stirring. Once the stock has been absorbed add the second ladle. Continue stirring and each time the stock has been absorbed add another ladle. After about 25 minutes taste the barley to check if it’s cooked, if not, continue for another few minutes.
Once you’re satisfied with the consistence of the rice, add the mashed broccoli and some pepper and stir to combine.
Remove the pan from the heat and add the rest of the butter with the grated cheese. Serve, eventually with some additional grated cheese on top.