We have some absolutely gorgeous buffalo mozzarella in our fridge this week. The mozzarella comes from a local buffalo farm that we were lucky enough to visit recently. I was amazed at how social the buffalo were, congregating near us to say hello, and how graceful their gait.
This meal was born from a desire to showcase this lovely cheese without relying on my default dish of eggplant parmigiana. Pearl barley has a slight chewiness when cooked and is a delicious alternative to arborio rice. I encourage you to experiment with other additions to this risotto. Chorizo and tomato or bacon and pumpkin would be fantastic substitutions for the mushrooms.
mushroom barley risotto
- splash of olive oil, knob of butter
- 6 cloves garlic, diced
- 6 sprigs of thyme, leaves of
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 doz button mushrooms, sliced
- 1.5 litres stock of your choice (I used cold chicken stock)
- 2c pearl barley
- 2/3 c grated parmesan, plus extra to serve
- a knob of butter
- 2 balls buffalo mozzarella
- 2 punnets cherry tomatoes, roasted
- basil or parsley to serve
In a large pot, saute the onion, garlic and thyme leaves in the olive oil and butter until cooked through and fragrant. Add mushrooms, cook until golden brown. Add the pearl barley, stir through. Add the stock. Cook on a simmer for 15-20 minutes while stirring every now and then. When barley is soft and stock has reduced, remove the pot form the stove and stir through the parmesan and the second knob of butter. Add salt and pepper as desired. Serve, topped with extra parmesan, the roast tomatoes,herbs and torn mozzarella. Serves 6.