Got this recipe from Kayln's Kitchen. A wonderful blog with lots of South Beach diet recipes. I've never really had risotto and was wary...but this was a great surprise and so YUM-O!
6 cups low-sodium chicken stock (or use 4 cups stock and 2 cups water)
Kayln's Kitchen recommends 1 tsp Better than Boullion Mushroom base. I did not have and did not use.
1 1/2 T olive oil
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/2 large onion, finely diced
3/4 lb. mushrooms, finely diced - I used Crimini
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 T fresh thyme chopped. Or 1 tsp dried.
fresh ground black pepper to taste
3/4 cups barley
1 bay leaf
2-3 T chopped parsley to garnish (optional)
Put chicken stock (plus mushroom base if using) in sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil then turn heat to very low and keep hot.
In medium-sized heavy pot, heat 1 T olive oil, then add onion and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, carrots, and thyme and cook about 10 minutes more, or until mushrooms have released liquid and it has evaporated. Don't be tempted to add salt. I was worried that this would be bland and added some salt - turned out to be WAY too salty.
Add barley, bay leaf, and 1 cup simmer stock. Increase heat to medium high and simmer, stirring every few minutes, and waiting for liquid to be absorbed into barley. As most of the liquid is absorbed, keep adding more stock and stirring, until all the liquid is absorbed and barley is softened.
Broth would absorb about every 5 mintues. It took me about 30 minutes after I started adding stock.
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