Spring Pea and Leek Risotto

After a very fruitful trip to the farmer’s market this afternoon, I decided to use some of the amazing produce I got to make a fresh spring risotto. Once again, I used barley because, like traditional arborio rice, it becomes soft and creamy when cooked slowly and stirred often. It’s both lower in calories and higher in protein and fiber. It also adds a nutty taste and slightly chewy texture to the dish. Yummy fresh peas take a few minutes to shell, but their crisp texture and fresh flavor are essential to this dish. Serve with a light sprinkle of fresh parmesan and some black pepper.

Read more for the full recipe

1 cup pearl barley, dry
1 cup fresh peas, shelled and washed
1 medium leek, sliced
4 cup low sodium vegetable broth
2 garlic cloves, minced
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp fresh basil, washed and chopped
1/2 tbsp fresh parsley, washed and chopped
1 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Step by Step Instructions:

1. Sautee garlic and leek in olive oil on med heat until soft, 2-3 minutes

2. Add barley and 1 cup of broth, reduce heat to med-low

3. When liquid is absorbed, stir in 1/2 more broth

4. When liquid is absorbed, stir in 1/2 more broth

5. When liquid is absorbed, add peas, lemon, cheese and herbs

6. Add 1/2 cup more broth

7. Continue to add broth in 1/2 cup increments until all is absorbed and barley and peas are softened

8. Serve with parmesan cheese and black pepper

Nutrition Info: (makes 4 servings)
256 Calories
7.5g Protein
11g Fiber

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One Response to Spring Pea and Leek Risotto

  1. Kelly July 6, 2011 at 2:11 am #

    What a great recipe, this looks so delicious and healthy :)

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