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Pearl barley risotto with mushrooms, leeks and garlic

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One of the winners of our 100th Issue recipe competition, interpretation officer Emma Booth (far left) impressed the Stylist panel with this alternative risotto, which makes a delightful main course.

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 whole heads of garlic, cloves separated, skin on
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g mixed mushrooms (enoki, shiitake, chanterelles or porcini), sliced
  • 11/2 leeks finely chopped
  • 200g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 tsp picked fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 15g butter
  • 25g Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tbsps mascarpone
  • Black pepper
  • Micro leaf garlic chives to garnish

Method

Step 1: Cover the garlic cloves in a tablespoon of the olive oil and place in a shallow ovenproof dish. Bake for 25 minutes at 190˚C/gas 5, then leave to cool. Peel each clove and roughly chop.

Step 2: Using two tablespoons of oil, fry the mushrooms until golden, set aside.

Step 3: Using the same pan, heat the butter and the last of the oil and fry the leeks over a medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the pearl barley, thyme, cooked garlic, stock and water, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the barley is soft but still has a little bite in the centre. Add water if needed. Once cooked, stir in the mushrooms, Parmesan and mascarpone, season with black pepper and garnish with the garlic chives.

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