Barley Risotto with Roasted Asparagus
1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
4 shallots, sliced
1-1/4 cups pearl barley
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
5 cups prepared fat-free chicken broth
1 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup shredded Reggiano-Parmigiano cheese
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, finely chopped
Garnish: Finely chopped red bell pepper, fresh thyme sprigs and lemon slices, optional
Place asparagus on cookie sheet and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon oil, rolling spears to coat. Roast in 400º F oven for 8 minutes; set aside. In medium heavy pan, heat remaining 3 teaspoons oil over medium-high heat. Add shallots, barley and thyme; cook and stir for 3 minutes. Add broth, 3/4 cup at a time, cooking and stirring until just absorbed. Continue adding all broth. Add wine, stirring and cooking until absorbed (process will take about 25 minutes). Stir in cheese and walnuts. Divide asparagus among 4 plates. Top with barley risotto and garnish as desired. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: calories 450, protein 21g, carbohydrates 60g, dietary fiber 13g, fat 11g, cholesterol 4mg, sodium 314mg.