Sunday, May 18, 2008
Humble Food: Barley Risotto
Final exams for my First Quarter in Nursing School are approaching!! Granted, they're still a few weeks away, but my head is already brimming and churning with physical assessment procedures and the terrifying possibility of having to put tubes inside people via various locations during clinicals next quarter. Amidst the chaos (which, I should add, Zach assures me is nothing like his med school chaos, making our house a very dizzying place indeed), we're seeking out comforting, healthful dishes to nourish and soothe us (hmmm, it seems as though I've talked about this theme a time or two before... :-) as we gallop through exams towards summer. Thankfully, I do have a nutrition course - as well as all of the tantalizing recipes y'all provide me with in the blog-world - to inspire me... Last week our nutrition professor was encouraging some of the students who don't usually cook to try a simple dish of rice, low-fat cream of mushroom soup, and frozen broccoli. Somehow, by the time I had arrived home after class, my thoughts on this dish had completely wandered... to barley risotto! The dish I ultimately created, however, was a delightfully uncomplicated "pseudo-risotto" - i.e. the kind of risotto that can occupy itself while you are attempting to extract a roll of paper towels from the cat's grasp, or are muddling over the various benefits of hot and cold wound care therapy while trying to extract your textbook from the cat's grasp... To make a long story short, this is what I did -
Cook two cups barley, in vegetable broth instead of water, using 1/2 cup more liquid than you usually would. When the barley is cooked, stir in 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, 8 oz thawed frozen peas, and salt and pepper to taste.
It's so simple, nearly-instant, and truly humble that it almost cannot be called a recipe... but it's so smooth, creamy, delicious, full of fiber and protein, and soothing to curl up with, that I couldn't resist telling y'all about it...
and the leftovers are just as scrumptious toted along for lunch, or for supper the next night!