This risotto can be made very much like a regular risotto. The only difference is that we'll use pearl barley instead of arborio rice. Pearl barley is nutritious, healthy and it tastes brilliant. So it's definitely always a winner and delightful with mushrooms. I think pearl barley needs to simmer slightly longer than arborio rice, but otherwise I'm using my normal risotto method. Let's start cooking!
1 cup of pearl barley
250g chestnut mushrooms
1 large shallot
2 cloves of garlic
100ml white wine
A few dried procini mushrooms
Vegetable stock powder
Vegetarian pasta cheese
Chop the shallot, garlic and chestnut mushrooms. Prepare a vegetable stock by mixing the vegetable stock powder with water, adding parsley and warming it up. Crush a few porcini mushrooms and soak them in water for about 10 minutes. Later you can add this mushroomy soaking water to the vegetable stock. Remember that we want to make this whole risotto extremely shroomy!
Heat olive oil in a pan and lightly fry the chopped shallot. Then add the chestnut mushrooms to the pan and keep frying for about 5 minutes. Finally add the garlic and the soaked porcini.
Add small butter bits to the pan and let them melt. Then add the pearl barley and stir everything on the pan for a couple of minutes.
Pour the white wine in and let it evaporate. Then add a cup or two of the hot vegetable stock to the pan and let simmer under a lid. Stir often and add more vegetable stock after a while. Keep this up until the barley is cooked.
Grate some vegetarian pasta cheese (vegetarian parmigiano) and add it to the risotto. Season with salt and black pepper. Add more wine, butter or parsley if needed.
Garnish with parsley, cheese and some thyme and enjoy!