Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Barley Risotto With Eggplant And Tomatoes

This recipe, adapted from Cooking Light Magazine, takes full advantage of your garden's dwindling produce and extracts its creaminess from barley instead of rice. You all know how I feel about barley. Rich in fiber and antioxidants, barley's slowly digested complex carbohydrates will keep your metabolism and blood sugar more stable, as well as help keep your tummy feeling full for hours. This was a meal in itself.

Barley Risotto With Eggplant and Tomatoes

6 cups small diced eggplant (this was four rather small eggplants for me)
8 Roma tomatoes, halved lengthwise
4 TBSP olive oil, divided
salt and pepper
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
1 onion, small dice
1 cup pearl barley, rinsed (NOT the quick cooking kind)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
fresh basil, thinly sliced (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Place diced eggplant and tomato halves in a large bowl. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer onto baking sheet. Roast in oven for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, let cool a bit, then gently cut tomatoes into bite-size pieces. Set aside.

Combine broth and water in a saucepan and keep warm over medium-low heat.

Heat remaining two tablespoons of oil in a large non-stick saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and saute for 4-5 minutes, until onions have softened and become translucent. Add garlic and rinsed barley and cook for one minute. Add wine and cook for one minute, or until wine has almost evaporated, stirring constantly.

Add one cup broth to pan. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook for about 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth, one cup at a time, stirring frequently, until each addition is nearly absorbed before adding the next. This process will take about 45 minutes total.

Gently stir in eggplant and tomatoes. Season again with salt and pepper if needed.

To serve, top with cheese, pine nuts and basil.


Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction said...

Looks delicious - except that my garden's produce isn't dwindling. Not sure what I did wrong, but my garden is just starting to boom. Discovered a few tiny little eggplants and tons of new peppers starting today!

Mags said...

Jen: I'm glad we planted early here in Indiana, because if it hadn't been for the early crop, we'd have nothing left. This has been a terrible summer for tomato blight and our plants are all but dead.

June said...

Wow Mags, this looks delicious. I didn't know you could make risotto from barley, so I'm just going to have to give it a about labor intensive though. Hope you had a glass of wine (or two) while you were hanging over the stove stirring!

Moogie said...

Mags, This looks great!! My garden is producing like crazy. I'm savoring every vegetable because come December I will miss the wonderful taste of vine ripened tomatoes and etc.

Oh by the way, about the last blog with your photo-shop skills. You're putting everyone else to shame with your special effects.

Dyan said...


Mags said...

June: I may or may not have imbibed while stirring my behind off, but knowing that there's wine in the recipe, you can do that

Moogie: It has always been my primary goal in life to shame those around me. That is why I became an elf in the first place.

Dyan: Yes, a great diabetic meal! (see, I must have been thinking of you when I made it!)

stephchows said...

barley is one of those things I've never made myself... this looks so darn good though! I may need to give it a go!

Mags said...

Steph: Try it, it's delish. Definitely satisfies that "I need something chewy, noodly, pasta" craving, I think.

Michelle said...

Oh my gaaaaawd this is amazing! I made it this week and brought it into work and everyone raved! I posted the link to this recipe on my FB profile I was so excited about it. Thank you!

Mags said...

Michelle: I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for stopping back here to let me know!