The super-cheap supper
- October 2010
- Serves 4
- Takes 10 minutes to make, 50-55 minutes to cook
This veggie version of a risotto recipe uses pearl barley. It’s cheap and it’s almost impossible to overcook – great for novice cooks.
- 31.8g (18.8g saturated)
- 111g (1.3g sugar)
- 50g unsalted butter
- 500g pearl barley
- 1 vegetable stock cube
- 200g frozen peas
- 250g mushrooms, sliced
- Handful of fresh herbs such as parsley, tarragon or sage, chopped
- 150g mature Cheddar, grated or a vegetarian alternative
- Melt a knob of the butter in a medium pan. Add the pearl barley, stir to coat in the butter, then cook gently for 2-3 minutes. Dissolve the stock cube in 600ml hot water, then pour over the pearl barley.
- Simmer over a medium heat for 25-30 minutes until tender. Keep topping it up with another 800ml hot water, ensuring the barley is covered. When cooked, remove from the heat, taste, then adjust the seasoning. Add the frozen peas, then set aside with a lid on for about 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a frying pan and cook over a medium heat until foaming. Add the mushrooms and fry for 5-10 minutes until golden brown. Season. To serve your supper, combine the pearl barley and peas with the mushrooms, herbs and cheese. Taste, adjust the seasoning, then spoon into bowls.
Next time around:
Use small chunks of squash instead of mushrooms. Fry for 10 minutes until tender. If your budget allows, try adding some blue cheese, too.
OR Double the stock and water to make a soup and add some chopped pork or chicken while cooking, to give a meaty hit.
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