I love to use dried porcini mushrooms with fresh mushrooms when making this barley ‘risotto’. Or any mushroom risotto in fact. The flavour adds such depth, and the water that re-hydrates the mushrooms makes a lovely intense stock.
I have used a selection of mixed exotic mushrooms to make up the fresh component of the dish. I love the meaty texture of shiitake, and adore the look of enoki. Use any mushrooms that you like, although I find white button mushrooms the least suitable for risotto. They are the dullest of all the mushroom varieties. They work brilliantly when pickled, but opt for brown, oyster or if you are lucky enough to have access to a few wild varieties, all the better.
I have used barley here because I love the nutty taste, but you can make a traditional risotto rice, just reduce the cooking time.
Dont be afraid to add butter, Mascarpone or cream at the end. It makes this more indulgent and creamy. I also add a lot of freshly grated Parmesan or pecorino.
Recipe | serves 2
- ½ cup of dried porcini mushrooms (about 15g) – soaked in 1 cup of boiling water
- ½ onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 T olive oil
- 1 cup of pear barley
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 3 cups of Chicken or Vegetable stock – made from Nomu Fond
- 2 T butter
- 200g mixed exotic mushrooms – chopped
- 2 t of finely chopped thyme
- Grated Parmesan cheese to serve
Soak the dried mushrooms in 1 cup of boiling water for about 20 minutes. Drain and reserve the liquid. Roughly chop the soaked mushrooms.
Place the mushroom stock and the chicken / vegetable stock in a small pot and heat this, keeping it warm on the stove as you make the dish.
In a heavy based pot, heat the olive oil and gently sauté the onions for about 5 minutes to soften. Add the garlic and briefly cook. Add the barley stirring to coat all the grains and cook for about a minute. Add the wine, porcini mushrooms and thyme, and cook until most of hte wine has evapourated.
Add the hot stock to the barley mix one ladle at a time stirring frequently.
While the barley is cooking, heat the butter in a non-stick frying pan and fry the fresh mushrooms until they just start to turn golden and set aside.
Keep adding the stock until the barley is cooked through but still has a bite – this will take about 30 minutes. Add the cooked mushrooms 3 minutes before the end.
Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
*Notes – Add a table spoon of cream or butter at the end to make it more indulgent
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