Thursday, May 19, 2005

Barley and Roasted Tomato Risotto

Barley and Roasted Tomato Risotto (Adapted from Mayo Clinic)

2 pounds Roma tomatoes, peeled and each tomato sliced into 4 to 6 wedges
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups water
1/3 cup chopped shallots
2 cups pearl barley
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) fresh grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving if desired
small whole basil leaves, for serving

Preheat the oven to 450.

Place tomatoes on large baking sheet - drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Gently toss to coat. Place tomatoes into the oven and roast until they have softened and begun to brown, about 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly. Set aside 8 to 12 wedges to use as a topping, then coarsely chop the rest.

In a medium saucepan, add broth and water - bring liquids just under a boil. Reduce heat to low and keep warm.

In a large, deep skillet or saucepan, heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium. Stir in shallots and cook until they have softened, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in barley and cook until lightly toasted, about 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in white wine - cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup of the broth mixture and cook until the liquid has almost been completely absorbed. Continue adding the broth mixture 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and letting each batch be almost completely absorbed before adding the next, until the barley is tender, about 45 to 50 minutes total.

Remove from the heat and stir in roasted chopped tomatoes, basil, parsley, thyme and 2 ounces cheese. Season with salt and fresh ground black pepper. Divide risotto between serving bowls and top each with reserved tomato wedges and the whole basil leaves. Top each with extra Parmesan, if desired.

Makes about 6 servings.

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