Barley and kale combine to create a restaurant-style risotto that's rich, creamy, and full of flavour.
1 bunch kale, trimmed
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 ½ cups pearl barley
¾ cup dry white wine
8 cups chicken stock, simmering
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp. butter
¼ cup whipping cream (35%)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Blanch kale in salted boiling water until it just starts to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain well and pat dry. Set aside.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When oil is hot, add onions. Sauté the onions until soft and transparent, about 5 minutes. Add barley and let cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally so barley is thoroughly coated with the oil. Season the barley with salt and pepper.
Add the white wine. Let wine reduce until most of the liquid is evaporated and pan is dry. Add one ladleful of simmering stock, let cook, stirring frequently, until the stock is completely absorbed into the barley and the pan is dry. Continue to add one ladleful of stock at a time and letting the stock reduce until the pan is dry each time. Cook orzotto until barley is tender yet still firm to the bite, about 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in blanched kale and let heat through. Add another ladle of stock and let cook for a few minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter, cream and Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings.