beetroot barley “risotto” and home grown goodies (not those kind)
So this is what I have at my disposal for a week. Woo frickin hoo. I am very envious of my parent’s little vege patch, and will be picking their brains (and green thumbs) for tips so I can create my own this year coming. 2012 will be the year of Lou’s garden oh yes. I think herbs are my favourite – I have read up on creating a herbal tea garden which sounds right up my alley. Hopefully Boosty will not munch my dreams into tiny pieces and strew them around my house – she has done this with 3 basil plants plus a chilli plant. Stupid Boosty. The following recipe is not really a risotto at all, but it’s a good guide-word as to what you are getting. Barley gives it a lovely earthy nuttiness along with a chewier texture that I love.
Beetroot Barley “Risotto”
(Vegan, soy, egg free… barley contains gluten)
- 3/4C barley cooked in 2C water and 1T yeast extract – combine barley, yeast and water in a small saucepan, bring to the boil and then reduce heat, simmering until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Turn off heat – the barley won’t be cooked, but you will cook again with the beetroot mix, so set aside until ready.
- 2 roast beetroot
- 1/2 bulb of roast garlic
- 8T rice milk (or any milk)
- 1/2t chilli paste
- 1t agave
- 2t balsamic vinegar
- 1/4t ground allspice
- 1/4t ground coriander
- 1/2t grated lemon zest
- Black pepper and sea salt
To begin with, I stabbed my 2 beetroot a few times with the tip of a sharp knife, and then microwaved for a few minutes to cut down on the roasting time (beetroot can take an age). I placed them on a baking tray with 2 bulbs of garlic (Mum needed some for an aioli she was making) and a few sprigs of rosemary. I don’t bother peeling or chopping the beetroot. Roast at about 160 degrees C until the beetroot is tender when you stab it (the garlic won’t take as long, you’ll know when it is done as it will be super fragrant, and the cloves will be squishy and wanting to squeeze out everywhere… maybe 30 minutes or so)
Once your beetroot has cooked, carefully peel and chop into chunks. Chuck in a food processor with half a bulb’s worth of garlic and the rest of the ingredients listed above. Blend until super smooth.
Now back to your kinda-cooked barley.
In a small saucepan, combine the barley with the beetroot mix and and additional 3/4C water (or milk if you are that way inclined). You will need to adjust the seasoning here too – taste as you go and add more sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Bring the mix to a gentle simmer, stirring every now and then until it resembles the consistency of a risotto.
Herbed Cashew-Cado Cream:
(Vegan, soy, gluten, egg free)
- 1/3C soaked cashews (soak in water for at least 2 hours… overnight will get you a smoother consistency)
- 1 avacado
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2t grated lemon zest
- 3t capers
- 3t caper brine
- 1/2t sea salt
- Black pepper to taste
- 1/4C fresh basil*
- 1/8C fresh mint*
- 1/8 fresh rocket leaves*
- 1/8C parsley*
Blend all ingredients until super smooth.
Apologies to vegans but my Mum and Dad ate this with lamb skewers and feta which sounded like a pretty perfect combo. I would have usually topped this with a mega salty creamy ashed goat’s cheese, so to keep it vegan (in line with my new foray into complete veganism) I made the cashew cream punchy and salty to mimick that. Pretty happy with the results, pretty happy indeed. The beetroot has a little kick from the chilli and spice, and the peppery-ness of the rocket in the cashew cream was awesome.
I had some home grown spinach on the side, and my Grandma contributed a head of broccoli she grew herself. Love. The colours in this meal were just incredible. So vibrant and REAL…. good to be home – good to eat a little piece of home.