Mushroom and Garlic Barley Risotto

I may complain about risotto occasionally, but it’s worth ever moment at the stove. Particularly when it’s filled with mushrooms and garlic. Barley is a great alternative to rice, much more nutritious with a rich flavor and hearty texture. Now that it’s well and truly freezing here in Seattle, I love this dish as a healthier comfort food option, warm, filling and just right for a cold weeknight with a little bit of time.

Wild Mushroom Barley Risotto

Mushroom and Garlic Barley Risotto
adapted from kashi

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 large shallots, minced (about 1/2 cup, or one small onion)
4 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups mixed mushrooms, coarsely chopped
6 cups organic baby arugula
1/2 teaspoon chopped thyme
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups pearled barley, rinsed
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups beef broth with 2 cups of hot water (or 6 cups mushroom broth)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Bring broth and water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Adjust heat to maintain a steady simmer. Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots (onion) and garlic and cook, stirring, until the shallots are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to release their juices, about 3-5 minutes. Add the barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook until absorbed, about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth to the barley and reduce heat to medium, stirring frequently, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the hot broth, 1 cup at a time and stirring frequently, until the barley is al dente, about 35 minutes. Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until it is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in cheese and season with salt and pepper. Garnish additional cheese shavings and serve.

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