Barley “Risotto” with Mushrooms, Kale and Gorgonzola

4 Servings

45 minutes

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Barley, though not commonly used in Mediterranean cuisine, makes a nutty, toothsome risotto-like dish when cooked with the right amount of liquid. For flavor and to make the grain into a satisfying meal, we use sautéed cremini mushrooms as a base, wilt in baby kale (or spinach or arugula) at the end, then top it all off with a pungent cheese. To make prep go a little quicker, look for already sliced cremini mushrooms in the supermarket. We think the butteriness of Gorgonzola dolce, which is softer and milder than regular Gorgonzola, is an especially good match for the risotto; other delicious cheese options are Taleggio (cut into thin slices with the rind) and Italian fontina (trimmed of rind and cut into small cubes).




Don’t use whole-grain barley or pearled barley. Both require significantly longer time in the pot than the quick-cooking barley called for in the recipe. Pearled and partially cooked, quick-cooking barley is done after only 10 to 15 minutes of simmering.

45 minutes