Tomato Barley

Tomato Barley

Tomato Barley
This barley is cooked like an Italian risotto but it is much richer in fiber. This wonderful side dish goes great with a steak, fresh fish or grilled chicken breast. It's amazing flavor carries the entire meal.
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At a glance
Main Ingredient:
Cooking Method:
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Course/Dish:
Healthy Eating:
Makes:
8 servings

Ingredients
10 large plum (Roma) tomatoes, about 2 lb. total weight, peeled and each cut into 4 wedges
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable stock or broth
3 cups water
2 shallots, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine, optional
2 cups pearl barley
3 tbsp. chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
3 tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1 1/2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra ungrated Parmesan for making curls for garnish

Methods/steps
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Arrange the tomatoes on a nonstick baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tbsp. of the olive oil and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. of the salt and 1/4 tsp. of the pepper. Toss gently to mix. Roast until the tomatoes are softened and beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside 16 tomato wedges to use for a garnish. In a saucepan, combine the vegetable stock and water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep at a simmer. In a large, heavy saucepan, heat the remaining 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and sauté until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the white wine, if using, and cook until most of the liquid evaporates, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in 1/2 cup of the stock mixture and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed, stirring occasionally. Continue stirring in the stock mixture in 1/2 cup increments, cooking each time until the liquid is absorbed before adding more, until the barley is tender, 45 to 50 minutes total. Remove from the heat and fold in the tomatoes, chopped basil, parsley, thyme and grated cheese. Add the remaining 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper and stir to combine. Divide the risotto among warmed individual shallow bowls. Garnish with the reserved roasted tomato wedges and the whole basil leaves. Using a vegetable peeler cut a curl or two of Parmesan cheese for topping each serving.

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