Barley Risotto with Mushrooms, Leeks and Kale

Nutty barley makes a great cold weather stand in for Arborio rice in this risotto-like dish. This dish is great for gatherings, as re-heats well.

Servings: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped leeks, about 3 medium (white and light green parts only)
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1/3 cup Madeira wine
  • 3 cups chopped kale
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the oil in a 5-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until leeks and mushrooms are very tender, about 5-6 minutes.
  2. Stir in the garlic and oregano and cook 2 minutes.
  3. Pour in the Madeira and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 30 seconds. Add the kale and cook until just wilted, about 1 minute.
  4. Stir in the barley and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Pour in 3 cups of the broth and bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover, simmer until the barley is almost tender, about 30 minutes.
  5. Add the remaining broth, uncover and simmer until the barley is tender, 12-15 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, cheese, salt and pepper.