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Barley Risotto with Beans and Greens

Warm and hearty, this dish beckons empty bellies on crisp chilly nights. Packed with whole grains, fiber, and healthy vitamins and minerals – barley takes this risotto up a notch. Serve in a bowl, snuggle up on your couch, and enjoy this savory and flavorful dish.

From Smitten Kitchen

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

5 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1 cup pearled barley (7 ounces)
1 cup beans, canned or precooked
3 cups chopped escarole
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Method of Preparation:

  1. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onion and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 6 minutes. Add the barley and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine if using and cook, stirring until absorbed, about one minute. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook, stirring, until nearly absorbed.
  3. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time in six additions — you’ll have a cup of stock left in the pot — stirring until it is nearly absorbed between additions. Most barley risottos are done when the barley is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 35 minutes.
  4. Stir it in until the risotto is on the loose side, then add the beans and let them cook for a minute.
  5. Add the escarole and let it wilt and then cook for an additional minute. Stir in the 1/2 cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano and the butter and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Serve at once, passing more cheese at the table.

Nutrition Facts (1 serving)

480 Calories, 62g carbs, 18g total fat, 35g protein, 15g dietary fiber,  530mg sodium

 
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