Spring Barley Risotto
A healthier alternative to the more traditional arborio risotto rice, barley adds iron and fiber to this dish.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or water
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 14 1/2 ounces vegetable broth
- 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut on bias into 2-inch pieces
- 1 box (10 ounces) frozen peas, defrosted
- 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves, plus small leaves for garnish
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add barley and leeks; cook until beginning to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine; cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water; bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat; simmer until liquid absorbs, about 10 minutes.
Add broth and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender and creamy, about 10 minutes. Add asparagus; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas until heated through. Add Parmesan and mint; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with mint leaves.