Barley Risotto with Marinated Feta

I loved the way the barley in has just a little bit more bite to it than rice risotto. The salty marinated feta is a delightful complement for the sweet tomatoes. 

Risotto

  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 1.25 cup drained crushed tomatoes
  • 3 cup vegetable stock
  • 1 chopped tomatoes
  • 0.25 tsp chile flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 lemon peel
  • 0.5 tsp smoked paprika
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 small shallots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 Tbsp (4 fl oz) olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  1. Rinse the barley in cold water and allow to drain.
  2. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and add 2 Tbsp. of the olive oil. Cook the celery, shallots and garlic for just about five minutes.
  3. Next, add the barley, thyme, paprika, bay leaf, lemon peel, chile flakes, tomatoes, stock, drained crushed tomatoes and salt. Stir and bring the mixture to a simmer. Cook for about 40 minutes, or until the majority of the liquid is absorbed. Stir frequently as it cooks.

Marinated Feta

  • 4 Tbsp olive oil
  • .5 Ounce feta crumbles
  • 1 Tbsp caraway seeds
  1. Meanwhile, toast the caraway seeds gently in either a dry skillet or a toaster oven. Crush so that some pods break open. Then add them to the feta with the 4 Tbsp. olive oil and crush to make a thick paste. You may need to add more olive oil to reach this point.
  2. When the risotto is ready, taste for salt level and serve in bowls, topped with the marinated feta.

Note: For the marinated feta I made 1/4 of this part and it was plenty for us.

Toppings

  • 1 Tbsp fresh oregano
  • salt
  1. Garnish with fresh oregano.

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