1 cup pearl barley, 1 pint vegetable stock, 3 sun dried tomatoes, 1 bell pepper, 1 courgette, 1/4 cup goji berries, rosemary, thyme, butter, white onion.
Serves: 2 Preparation: 1 hour
All risottos (no matter what the ingredients) can be made in 3 simple stages. The first is called tostatura - coating the rice in fat, the second involves cooking off some alcohol and the third involves releasing the starch from the rice one ladle of stock at a time. Using spelt or pearl barley as an alternative to rice makes a wonderful change to the Italian classic but pearl barley, unlike spelt and rice can be left to cook with the whole pint of stock making it less high-maintenance to cook. This flavour-packed combination of roast courgettes, peppers, sun-dried tomatoes and juicy goji berries is perfect to fight Winter lurgy.
1) Dice the bell pepper and courgette and roast in a little olive oil for 15 minutes in a covered dish. Dice the sun-dried tomatoes and add them along with the goji berries to the roasting dish to allow them to rehydrate in the roasting juices.
2) Finely dice the white onion and sautee until soft in a little butter. Season to taste with rosemary and thyme and add the pearl barley. Stir through until coated in fat, then add the roast vegetables and vegetable stock.
3) Leave to simmer with the lid on for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally until the stock has almost all been absorbed, leaving a wonderful silky, fragrant sauce.