Barley, Rainbow Chard and Lemon Risotto
- The night before, place the barley and lentils in separate bowls and add enough water to cover by 2 cm (¾ in). Stir 2 teaspoons whey (or vinegar) into the barley and 1 teaspoon into the lentils. Set aside at room temperature for at least 8 hours or overnight.
- The next day, make the risotto. Place the olive oil, leek, garlic and rosemary in a heavy-based 20 cm (8 in) cast-iron pan. Cook over low heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes, until translucent.
- Drain the barley and lentils, then add to the pan with the kombu and bay leaves, and stir through. Add the stock and bring to a simmer, then cover and cook over low heat for 40–50 minutes, until the barley and lentils are cooked and tender to the bite; there should still be plenty of liquid left.
- Next, heat the ghee in a medium-size frying pan over low heat. Add the chard stems and cook gently, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes. Toss in the leaves and cook for another 10 minutes, until they are well wilted. Increase the heat to reduce the liquid.
- When the barley and lentils are ready, stir in the chard and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated. The barley will continue to absorb liquid as it sits. If it looks a little dry, add a little more stock or water to loosen. Season generously with sea salt and pepper (this is a dish that loves pepper), then stir in the lemon juice and parmesan cheese to taste. Scatter with the pine nuts, then drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and serve.
PREPARATION: ACID SOAKING of LESS-HEARTY BEANS, LENTILS & PEAS (black beans, chickpeas, channa dal, mung beans, all whole lentils, black-eyed beans, split peas, dal)
For each ½–1 cup dry legume, add 1 tablespoon cultured product such as whey, yoghurt, kefir, cultured buttermilk or the like. For dairy-free options, use water kefir (see page 39) or kombucha drink, 2 teaspoons lemon juice or apple cider vinegar.
- Sausage would be a delicious addition to this dish. Add the sausage to the pan with the onions. It will add more fat to the dish so you may want to reduce the amount of extra virgin olive oil, or serve it on the side.
½ cup organic pearl barley (100g)
2 tbsp organic channa dal
3 tsp whey OR apple cider vinegar/choice of acid *see preparation note below*
2 tbsp organic extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 medium leek, whites thinly sliced and rinsed (reserve the green tops for stock) OR 1 onion, finely chopped
3–4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp rosemary, finely chopped
2 cm (¾ in) piece kombu (an edible kelp)
2 organic bay leaves
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (500ml)
1 tsp ghee (or organic extra virgin olive oil, if vegan)
12 small–medium rainbow chard or silverbeet (Swiss chard) leaves, well rinsed, leaves and tender stems cut into wide strips
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1–2 tbsp lemon juice
25–50g parmesan OR pecorino cheese, grated, OR nutritional yeast flakes (if vegan)
¼ cup organic pine nuts, toasted