Summer Barlotto

BASIC RISOTTO RECIPE:

  • 1.5 cups arborio rice (or pearled barley for a “barlotto”)
  • 4-5 cups chicken broth (or beef/mixture)
  • 1/2 cup white wine (drinking quality)
  • grated parmesan
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • butter

Heat a small dutch oven on medium high heat and melt a pat of butter. Saute onions until soft (~5 min). In a small separate sauce pan, bring broth to a boil. Lower heat and keep on simmer. Add rice/barley to onions, toss and coat with butter (adding more if necessary). Toast but dont brown. Add wine and stir until fully absorbed. Add a ladle-full of broth and again stir until liquid is mostly absorbed. Add another ladle of broth and repeat until grains are almost al-dente but still on the hard side. Keep stirring. You dont want the grains to stick to the bottom of the pot. Now add extras (such as mushrooms, blanched asparagus, frozen peas + one slice of smoked  bacon, chopped finely) and stir until cooked through, adding broth when needed. Top with grated parmesan (and parsley) and serve immediately! It’ll get gummy if it sits.

Something to note: white wine freezes beautifully. So don’t skimp and buy the cheapest bottle because you know you’ll never drink it all, and don’t waste money on the tiny bottles that cost more than the full size. Get a good quality, large size drinking wine, use what you need, drink what you will, and freeze the rest in ice cube trays. Then whenever a recipe calls for it, just pop out cubes of white wine from the tray and let it thaw at room temperature.

Mmmm…look at those plump little chewy kernels of barley. (:

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