Risotto is one of my favourite things to cook. Even when making it whilst home alone, there’s something romantic about the process of gradual stirring and adding of stock whilst the rice slowly starts to get creamy. For something a bit different, I tried my hand at a vegan take on the good ol’ risotto, and took out the rice, replacing it with pearl barley which has a lovely bite to the tooth. Delish!
1C pearl barley, rinsed
400g mushrooms (variety is always nice)
1 large brown onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
4TB apple cider vinegar
4C vegetable broth/stock
1 1/2C unsweetened nut milk (eg. cashew)
1/3C nutritional yeast
2C baby spinach
2TB rice bran oil
To serve: vegan cheese and chopped walnuts, black pepper
1. Heat large frying pan (which has a lid) over medium heat. Add chopped onion and garlic and cook until soft (about 5mins). Add mushrooms and a pinch of salt and cook for approximately 10mins. Increase heat and add the barley, stirring constantly for about 2-3mins. Add the vinegar and continue stirring for about 2mins.
2. Add vegetable broth, cover, and lower heat. Stir approximately every 5mins to avoid barley sticking to pan, replacing lid each time. After about 25-30mins, the barley should be soft (if you see all the stock has been absorbed before this stage, and the barley is still hard, add more). Once barley is ready, stir in the nut milk, spinach and nutritional yeast and cook uncovered for another 2-3mins (you want a creamy risotto so don’t overcook), or until spinach is just wilted. Serve sprinkled with vegan cheese, chopped walnuts and black pepper!