Quick easy risotto is always a delicious meal, this is a twist on tradition by using pearl barley.
1kg pumpkin, seeds removed
200g fresh local peas
2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1/4 cup white wine
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock (preferably homemade)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/4 cup toasted almonds, chopped
Grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
I like to roast my pumpkin first – place on a baking tray with a bit of salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg and roast for 30mins.
In the meantime, you can start off the orzotto or barl-otto, as you would any old risotto.
Add oil and sweat off the leak, add the barley fry for a few minutes. Add the wine and turn down the heat till almost gone.
The difference between this and a risotto is you do not have to stir it continuously and its still creamy and delicious. Which is awesome.
Meanwhile prepare your stock – I used a veggie stock I made earlier but a bouillon cube is fine, especially if you’re in a hurry. You can get some great ready stocks too – so look out for those!
Add the roasted pumpkin and raw peas, stock and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until barley is cooked through but still chewy and pumpkin is falling apart. Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkling of toasted almonds and grated cheese, if desired.