I’m writing this really quickly as I’m desperate to get outside into the spring sunshine which is blazing through my attic windows! It’s been four long weeks since I managed to sit here long enough to share a recipe with you, mainly due to work away from my blog, and I’ve missed my little space. Spring is really flexing its muscles now so I thought I’d share this simple recipe for spring vegetable barley risotto which makes the most of the early broad bean crop. The barley adds a more substantial bite than rice, which is really satisfying after a day digging over the veg beds, and doesn’t require all the endless stirring of a regular risotto.
Barley Risotto with Broad Beans and Peas
- 100 g fresh or frozen broad beans
- 100 g fresh or frozen peas
- 75 g pearl barley
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 small onion , peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic , crushed
- 60 ml vegan white wine (optional)
- 500 - 750 ml vegan vegetable stock
- 4 spring onions , trimmed and sliced
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh mint
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
- freshly ground black pepper
- If you're using fresh beans and peas pop them out of their pods (don't forget to enjoy stroking the blankety bed inside the broad bean shells!)
- Bring two small pans of water to the boil. Cook the broad beans for 3-5 minutes in one and the peas for 2-3 minutes in the other (or according to packet instructions if you are using frozen veg). Drain and refresh under cold water.
- Pod the beans (remove the outer skin by pinching a hole in one end and squeezing them out).
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook gently until soft.
- Add the garlic and barley and cook for a further minute.
- Add the wine and cook until it is absorbed.
- Add 500 ml vegetable stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 45 minutes until the barley is tender and the stock is absorbed (add more stock if necessary).
- Add the beans and peas and cook gently for a further two minutes, covered.
- Add the spring onions, fresh herbs and black pepper to taste.
And that’s it! Simple and scrumptious – perfect for a spring supper. Now, I’m off into the garden – my heart hurts today as it is my eldest son’s 21st birthday and he is a long. loooong way away, studying in Tokyo! I shall be raising a glass to him later and celebrating being a Mum to my lovely Thinly Spread family for twenty one years, cheers!
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