Good afternoon, cooks, bakers, foodies and other humans ;)
I have developed an obsession with grains! Specially now that I know the amazing world of they’re savory counterparts. Just like the savory oatmeal I was used to eat barley for breakfast and sweet. Mostly, I mixed it with oatmeal, but this time I ran out! What’s a girl to do? Get creative in the kitchen of course!
I don’t know why I called this a risotto…it really isn’t. Just play along with me, won’t ‘ya?
This is SO easy, I mean I can’t stress enough how important I think it is for a meal to be easy and fast. What’s the point if you’re going to be making something that takes longer to cook than to eat? Specially if it’s something healthy, you want it to be quick, otherwise you’d rather pick up a burger on your way home! Nop Sir, this is too easy for that.
And ever since I told you the savory oatmeal would go great with tomatoes and cheese, I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I created this Capresse Barley Faux Risotto with some of the homemade pesto my brother had made. This dish is filled with whole grain fiber, delicious vitamin rich tomatoes and super healthy fats!
If you don’t have (or don’t want to make) pesto you can easily just add chopped fresh basil leaves. I would throw in a little minced garlic for good measure. And more olive oil since the pesto has a lot. Anyway you make it, this is perfect for a quick lunch that leaves you feeling great. I adore the texture of barley. I had this alongside a veggies and tuna salad. Let’s see how you make this!
Capresse Barley Faux Risotto
Serves one on its own, or two if you serve it as a side-dish.
1/2 cup of raw barley
1 cup of water (more if needed)
Large pinch of salt
One large tomato
1 heaping Tablespoon of pesto, OR
1 handful of fresh basil leaves, chopped
1 clove of garlic minced (optional, if not using pesto)
1/3 cup of chopped mozzarella cheese
Lots of black pepper
Olive oil, to drizzle at the end.
Place barley, water and salt in a medium pan and cook over high heat. once it boils, lower to medium heat and stir every once in a while. If its drying too much, add more water and cook until desired consistency. You want it to be soft but still a little firm, it will take about 15 minutes. While you wait, dice the tomato (larger or smaller depending on personal preference), chop the basil leaves (if using) the garlic (if using) and the cheese. Once the barley its done, let the remaining water evaporate over high heat and throw in the tomato and garlic (if using) and stir. The tomato will release its juices and flavor the barley. Quickly stir and cook for no more than 5 minutes. Turn off the heat, add basil leaves (if using), cheese and black pepper. Stir to combine and melt the cheese. Adjust the seasonings and serve. Top with pesto if you have it and a drizzle of olive oil.
Hey, so there is the salty (and slightly bitter pesto) right there but, where’s the sweet. Hum..Want to see what I had for dessert today? You’re warned, this is some serious food porn ahead…
Delicious, scrumptious, whole wheat toast with homemade hazelnut-coconut butter (make hazelnut butter and stir shredded coconut at the end, ta dah!) topped with chopped bittersweet chocolate, under the broiler for 5 seconds. This made my week. It felt like slightly bitter nutella with coconut. And I HEART whole wheat bread I don’t even like white anymore and people think is because I’m being a health nut, but this is serious, white bread lacks the yummy chewiness and hearty wholeness (?) that whole wheat delivers. Is this weird? Do you like white bread better?
Finally, do you like it when I post healthier recipes? I appreciate feedback anytime of the day! Thanks for stopping by ;)