Barley Risotto w. Marinated Feta

Simply sensational.

Faff Factor: 3.5/5 * Flavour: 4.5/5 * Fridge to face: 40 mins

Recipe adapted from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem

(Serves 4 with leftovers)
Ingredients:
1 cup pearl barley
1 tbsp butter or olive oil
1/3 cup olive oil
2 celery stalks, cut into 0.5cm dice
2 small shallots, diced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
4 thyme sprigs (2 tsp dried if fresh unavailable)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
4 strips lemon rind
1/4 tsp chilli flakes (optional)
750ml canned diced tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
1.5 cups passata
1 tbsp caraway seeds
1 cup feta, broken roughly into pieces (sub in pressed tofu)
1 tbsp oregano leaves to serve
S & P to taste

Method:
1. Rinse barley and leave to drain
2. Melt butter (or oil) with 2 tbsp of olive oil in a big pan and fry celery, shallots and garlic on a med/low heat, until soft. Add barley, thyme, paprika, bay leaf, lemon rind, chilli flakes, tomatoes, stock, passata and a small pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
3. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce to a gentle simmer. Cook for 35 minutes, stirring frequently to make sure the risotto doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan.
4. Meanwhile, toast the caraway seeds in a dry pan (1-2mins). Crumble feta (or tofu) into a bowl. Crush toasted seeds and add to feta with remaining olive oil. If using tofu, add a pinch of salt and a small squeeze of lemon juice. Mix to combine.
5. Risotto is ready when barley is tender and liquid is mostly absorbed.
6. Serve topped with feta and a sprinkle of fresh oregano.

Serving Options:
– Serve alongside steamed greens (kale, broccoli, spinach, chard) or a big green salad
– Mix through 2 big handfuls of fresh spinach before serving
– Serve on a bed of arugula or shredded green or purple cabbage
– Top with a handful of sprouts

Faff Notes:
• One pot and one bowl, so very few dishes. There are a few things to prep (dicing celery, shallots, garlic etc), however, with the exception of a few stirs, once it’s simmering, you’re free to get the breakfast dishes done before you sit down to dinner!
• Steam a head of broccoli or a bunch of chopped kale for a fast side of greens.

Flavour Notes:
• Family favourite, also dinner party worthy.
• Lots of options for substitutes here (onions for shallots etc), and no-one’s going to notice if you don’t add a bay leaf or chilli flakes, but don’t scrimp out on the lemon slices or caraway seeds. They are the magic in this dish.

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