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Barley & Beet Risotto

September 3, 2010

From The Star Tribune, 5 August 2010

  • 1 c. barley
  • 3 c. vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 tbsp. butter or olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 2 c. diced peeled beets (about 3 medium)
  • 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. crumbled soft goat cheese or feta

1. Rinse barley in a sieve under running water, stirring to make sure it is well-rinsed, until water runs clear. Drain well and set aside.

2. In a saucepan over high heat or in the microwave, heat stock and 1 cup water until almost boiling. Cover and keep hot.

3. In large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and sauté for about 3 minutes or until starting to soften. Add garlic, basil, salt and pepper; sauté for 2 minutes. Add barley and stir to coat well. Add wine and cook, scraping up any bits stuck to pan, until liquid is almost evaporated.

4. Stir in 2 cups stock mixture and the beets. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low and boil gently, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until beets are almost tender. Add a little more stock, if necessary to keep mixture moist.

5. Uncover and simmer, stirring often and adding stock, a ladleful at a time, as the previous addition is absorbed, for about 20 minutes or until barley is tender with a slight bite and beets are tender.

6. Adjust heat as necessary to keep pot at a steady simmer. You may need to add a little more hot water if mixture gets too thick before barley is tender. Stir in lemon juice.

7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve sprinkled with cheese.

Serves 6

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