Well…I have always heard that Risotto was a time consuming and touchy dish to prepare. Steaks were on sale so I picked up a few. Knowing Terry would be in charge of grilling, I decided to give this dish a whirl. Apparently I am not a member of the successful Risotto maker’s club. This flavor of Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Parmesan was excellent, but I think I need a bit more practice before serving it to company. The battle between Risotto and I is not over!!
Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Parmesan
5 cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/2 cups dry barley
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut diagonally into 1" pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 ounces fresh grated Parmesan cheese
In a small saucepan, warm the broth over medium-low heat.
In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add the onion and cook until softened, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the barley and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Mix in the wine and cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally and waiting until it is absorbed before adding more. When you add the last 1/2 cup of the broth, also stir in the asparagus and continue to cook until tender. It should roughly take about 30 to 35 minutes for all the broth to be absorbed. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the Parmesan and stir to combine.
Makes 4 servings.
This dish tasted amazing, which is why I am planning on trying it again. I used chicken broth instead of vegetable, as that is what I had on hand. This recipe took me about an hour and a half, even after it was “done” the barley still seemed a bit too chewy. I ended up having to add almost another full cup of extra broth towards the end. I thought that maybe I was cooking the Risotto on to high of a heat, but the recipe never stated turning the flame down after the initial temperature of medium. Because the recipe took so much time our steaks were done early and dried out a little. All in all I would say that cooking Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Parmesan was not a pleasant experience, but I will try it again because the flavor is worth it. If anyone would like to leave comments as to how this could be improved, I would love to hear them!