Wild Mushroom-Barley Risotto

Serves 4

14 oz. wild mushrooms (such as cepes or porcini, trompettes de la mort, and chantrelles) (We used portobellos – so, maybe not that wild…)
3 1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/2 Tbs. butter
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, minced
1 c pearl barley
slash of dry white wine
1/4 c freshly grated Parmesan
2 tbs. mascarpone
handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves minced

Clean the mushrooms and thickly slice the large ones. Set aside while you start the risotto.

Brink the stock to a gentle simmer in a medium saucepan. Meanwhile, heat the butter and a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or sauté pan and add the onion and a little seasoning. Gently fry the onion, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften 4-6 minutes. Tip in the barley and stir well to coat. Toast the barley for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the splash of wine and let it bubble until reduced by half. Stir in two-thirds of the hot stock and simmer, stirring every once in a while, until the barley has absorbed almost all the liquid. Add more stock, a ladleful at a time, and simmer until the barley is just tender (you may not need all the stock). Stir in the Parmesan and mascarpone and season well to taste. Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid to keep warm.

Heat the remaining oil in a large frying pan. Fry the mushrooms with some seasoning until they are lightly browned and any moisture released has evaporated, 3-4 minutes. Add the mushrooms to the risotto and stir well to mix.

Divide the risotto among warm plates and sprinkle with the minced parsley. Serve immediately.

David: I thought it was great! It came together pretty easily and I feel like it could go on the side with a lot of different things. A.

Carla: I also really enjoyed this risotto. It went together nicely. And who doesn’t love cheese? A.

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