BARLEY RISOTTO WITH TURMERIC, BLANCHED KALE AND PARMESAN CHEESE
Barley is one of those to go-to grains for me nowadays, and I decided to give it a try this time with the consistency of a ‘risotto’ – Basotto if you please! I cooked 1 cup of pearled barley with 3 cups of water and 1/4 teaspoon of kosher salt (next time I will try to look for the Hulled Barley, as it is more nutritious). I cooked it for 25 minutes according to the instructions. While still hot I added 2 Tablespoons of Pesto and 2 Teaspoons of turmeric prepared in olive oil and chopped blanched kale.
To serve I added some pine nuts and shaved Parmesan cheese. As always I did also add a bit of olive oil and apple cider vinegar.
NOTE: I have read that turmeric, which is an ingredient in curry, has so many health benefits. I prepared a combination of 1 teaspoon of turmeric, with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and 1 pinch of black pepper. I multiply this recipe and prepare it in a glass jar to have it ready for my vegetable platters and salads. If you do not like black pepper you can substitute it by ground ginger. Apparently the turmeric needs the presence of black pepper and/or ginger to bring out its health benefits. I find that the overall flavour is not offensive and it actually enhances the flavours of the other Basotto ingredients.
TO COOK THE BARLEY – Combine barley and water in the saucepan, adding a generous pinch of salt if desired.
Bring to a boil over high heat. Keep an eye on the pot as barley will give off a lot of foam at first and can cause the pot to boil over.
When the barley has reached a boil, lower the heat to a low simmer, cover, and continue to cook until the barley is done. For pearl barley, it will take approximately 25 minutes. For hulled barley, about 40 minutes. The barley is done when it has tripled in volume and is soft yet chewy. Add more water if the pan becomes dry before the barley has finished cooking. Check every 5 minutes until desired chewiness is reached.