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Recipes // Side Dishes // Beet & Barley Risotto with Goat Cheese

Beet & Barley Risotto with Goat Cheese

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By Chef Matt Wadiak

Makes 2 Servings
About 650 Calories Per Serving

For this gorgeous, vibrant dish, we’re using tangy goat cheese to complement earthy red beets. Lemon and goat cheese (which is mildly acidic) provide the perfect counterpoint for beets, which are slightly alkaline. But what’s truly special about this dish isn’t the science. It’s the delicious, harmonious flavor combination you’ll taste in every bite.

Ingredients:

  • 3 Scallions
  • 2 Cloves Garlic
  • 1 Bunch Red Baby Beets with Greens 1 Lemon
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • 1 Cup Pearled Barley
  • 3 Tablespoons Vegetable Demi-Glace 1 Tablespoon Butter
  • 2 Ounces Goat Cheese, Crumbled

Directions:

  1. Prepare the ingredients: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Thinly slice the scallions on an angle, separating the white bottoms and green tops. Peel and mince the garlic. Separate the beet greens and bulbs. Roughly chop half of the greens and discard the rest. Scrub the beet bulbs clean then trim off the stems and thin root; cut the beets into 1⁄4-inch cubes. (To avoid staining, you may want to wear gloves and use a plastic cutting board.) Using a peeler, remove the yellow rind of the lemon, avoiding the white pith; mince the peel to get 2 teaspoons of lemon zest. Quarter the lemon and remove the seeds. Peel and small dice the onion.
  2. Start cooking the vegetables: In a medium pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the onion and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Stir in the barley, cubed beets and lemon zest and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the barley is toasted and fragrant.
  3. Make the risotto: Stir the vegetable demi-glace and 3 cups of water into the pot of vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 16 to 18 minutes, or until the beets and barley are tender. (If the mixture sticks to the bottom of the pot or looks dry, add up to 1⁄4 cup additional water.)
  4. Add the greens & butter: Just before the barley and beets are fully cooked, when some liquid still remains in the pot, stir the chopped beet greens and butter into the pot. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the beet greens are wilted and the butter is melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Finish the risotto: Stir the white parts of the scallions, half the goat cheese and the juice of 2 lemon wedges into the risotto. Mix until thoroughly incorporated and season with salt and pepper to taste.
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