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.
A simple recipe for barley risotto using the pick of the spring crop of broad beans and fresh 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 white wine (optional)
- 500 - 750 ml 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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