Barley Risotto with Wild Mushrooms
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Barley Risotto with Wild Mushrooms
(Pressure-cooker version)

Recipe developed by Lorna Sass and presented
at the Whole Grains Go Mainstream conference
New Orleans, LA

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped leeks or onions
1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
1 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons black "buffalo" barley (optional)
1/3 cup dry sherry
3 cups chicken broth
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 ounce dried mushrooms (rinse if necessary)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus more to pass at table

1. In a 4-quart or larger pressure cooker, heat oil. Add leeks and fennel and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until leeks are browned.

2. Stir in barley until lightly coated with oil. Add sherry and stir until it evaporates. Stir in broth, water, mushrooms and salt.

3. Lock pressure cooker lid in place and bring to high pressure over high heat. Reduce heat to maintain pressure and cook for 18 minutes. Release pressure by placing cooker under cold running water. Remove lid, tilting it away from your face to avoid steam.

4. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Set cooker over high heat and cook risotto, stirring frequently, until barley is tender (but still chewy) and mixture has thickened to a slightly soupy consistency, about 5 minutes. Stir in Parmesan. Ladle into bowls or onto lipped plates. Serves 4 to 6 as a side dish with roasted meat.