Meatless Monday: Summer Barley Risotto

July 16, 2012 · 14 comments

in beans and legumes,rice and grains,vegetarian

This is one of my favorite new dishes, hands down.

I had no concerns this would be great (I mean, it has roasted tomatoes so…it has to be), but it really did knock my socks off.

I’ve mentioned before that I love barley. This probably seems like a weird thing to say, but it’s true. I just love its nutty flavor and chewy texture. I’ve made “risotto” from it before, and it’s a great thing. Combined with sweet summer corn, basil, and the aforementioned tomatoes, it’s hard to go wrong. Impossible, actually.

I decided to replace 1/2 cup of barley with a can of cannellini beans, to add a little more protein and texture to the dish (which worked out especially well since I realized after I started making this that I only had one cup of barley, anyway). I also reduced the fat a bit, to absolutely no ill effects.

This dish was fantastic. Tom liked it to much that he had more at dinner (which is kind of a bummer, because it meant fewer leftovers. Hmph.) and we both raved about it again the next day, after lunch. The barley and beans are filling, but the tomatoes, sweet corn, and basil keep this really light and refreshing. ¬†Risotto isn’t normally a dish associated with the summer, but this dish will make you rethink that.

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