Saturday, May 14, 2011

Spring Barley and Millet Risotto with Ramps, Mushrooms and Roasted Asparagus

I'm obviously on a barley kick. It's also ramp and asparagus season and I try to use them in as many ways possible while I can get my hands on them as well as some of the beautiful mushrooms I'm seeing at the Dill Pickle! I saw this recipe from 101 Cookbooks and adapted it to feature some spring vegetables.

1/2 cup millet
1 1/4 cup barley
1 bunch ramps, bulbs and greens separated
1/2 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed and spears cut into 1 inch chunks
1/3 lb (approx.) shiitake mushrooms
1/3 lb (approx.) oyster mushrooms
Broth and water (ideally this would be about 5-6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, however, I only had a few cups so I added water as well)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 Tbsp butter

-Preheat oven to 400

-Rinse millet and add to a small sauce pan with 1 1/2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the water is evaporated and millet is cooked through. Add additional water as needed. Remove from heat and set aside

-Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Toss the asparagus pieces with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast in oven about 10-15 minutes or until slightly browned. Set aside

-Put water and stock into a small sauce pan and warm on stove.

-Meanwhile start the barley risotto. Slice ramps bulbs thinly. Add about 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large stock pot and sautee ramps with salt and pepper until tender. Add barley and cook for about 2-3 minutes. Add stock/water mixture a ladelful or two at a time while stirring. As liquid is absorbed keep adding liquid by the ladleful. This process will take awhile.

-Wipe and slice all of the mushrooms. In a large saute pan heat a Tbsp or 2 of olive oil and saute the mushrooms until just starting to brown. Set aside.

-Slice the ramp greens into small pieces. As the barley is getting close to being done, stir the greens in a handful at a time

-Add grated parmesan (how much is your preference) and 1/2 Tbsp butter to barley and stir

-Add 1/2 or 3/4 of the cooked millet and more liquid if needed.

-Add the set aside asparagus and mushrooms to pot and stir to incorporate. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper and add lemon juice.

*For an extra kick I added a teaspoon full of harissa

**You can make this recipe with just the barley or farro, or even try it as an actual risotto with arborio rice!

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