November 10, 2010

Roasted Pumpkin and Pearl Barley Risotto


The best time for me to clear my thoughts is during my daily walks. Thankfully, even with a sore back I've still been able to continue with my walks (although at a slower pace) and I always find that these walks are so important for me to either re-focus after a working day or to set my mind to a new day (if I walk in the morning).

Don't get me wrong, these are no leisury strolls down the street; I've got long legs and I'm used to walking fast so I can definitely get a good exercise during my walk through a varying terrain. In Finland I used to do a lot of Nordic walking; up and down the hilly landscape during the snowless months and when the new snow fell all I had to do was to put skis on and off I went again. I've always been a sporty, outdoorsy person and these exercises are absolutely vital for my physical and mental well-being.

This recipe dawned to me during one of my walks. I was so excited to go home and try it and I'm so glad to report it turned out exactly like I had imagined! This is definitely one of my favourite dishes!


Roasted Pumpkin and Pearl Barley Risotto

750g Jap pumpkin (kabocha)
1 tsp dried rosemary
1 tsp dried thyme
Himalayan pink rock salt
ground black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp walnut oil

1 tbsp olive oil
1 medium brown onion, finely chopped
1,5 cups pear barley
1 litre organic vegetable stock

low-fat feta cheese, to serve
pine nuts, toasted, to serve
walnut oil, extra, to serve

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut the peel of the pumpkin and remove the seeds. Cut the pumpkin into small chunks and place on a roasting tray lined with baking paper. Sprinkle on the herbs, seasoning and the oil and toss well to combine. Arrange the pumpkin evenly on the tray, then bake for 20 minutes or until fully tender. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until soften. Add the barley and stir through. Add the stock, bring to boil and let simmer stirring occasionally for 25-30 minutes.

In the mean while, place the pumpkin into a bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add one teaspoon of walnut oil and process again to mix. Once the barley has cooked through, add the pumpkin puree and let simmer for a further few minutes.

Serve the barley risotto with crumbled low-fat feta cheese, toasted pine nuts and a drizzling of walnut oil.

Enjoy!


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22 comments:

  1. This looks phenomenol. I can't wait to try this. :)

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  2. Yummie, this risotto with barley looks so yummie, love the color that that pumpkin gives to the dish...very pretty and tasty :-)

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  3. Risotto with creamy pumpkin mMmmm looks delicious! also love the addition of toasted pine nuts!

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  4. Great idea to use up the remaining pearl barley that I bought to make the barley and pumpkin salad you blogged about last week.

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  5. This looks like such a nice hearty meal, but now that summer is coming I'm trying to stay aery from those kinds of foods, but they look so nice!!

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  6. I do love the idea of a pearl barley risotto - thanks for sharing that. Hope your back gets better Maria.

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  7. Love the colour of this and I've been meaning to try a barley risotto so I think this one will be my first :)

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  8. A healthy Risotto with barley as an ingredient. Looks delicious.

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  9. This looks great! I love pumpkin and I adore risotto... fantastic recipe!

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  10. Oh man, this is an awesome risotto. Not something I would have thought to combine but you did a great job! However, I am wondering where I can find Himalayan pink rock salt in the Midwest! :)

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  11. It's funny, as relaxing as walks can be, the act of making risotto is one I find to be even more cathartic. Especially when you see how it can turn out! This looks delicious.

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  12. I adoreeeee pearl barley and can only imagine how delicious this is! Haha i have the SHORTEST legs ever but I can still walk fast. We'll have to walk together one day :)

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  13. This light you have, I want it. (And by that I mean daylight. Greetings from Scandinavia).

    Sounds delicious this!

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  14. A beautiful risotto! Very healthy and original.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  15. this looks really nice Maria!

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  16. I love risotto, but have never tried it with pearl barley. I'm going to have to now as your risotto looks amazing!

    I’d love for you to submit one of your beautiful photos, and a link to your post, to my vegetarian food photo gallery showcasing the best vegetarian dishes and recipes on the web. Feel free to submit any other vegetarian recipes too.

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  17. Absolutely love roast pumpkin though the last time I tried making pearl barley it was a total failure. Your recipe sounds like a gem! Might try it sometime with that bag of pearl barley sitting in the pantry ;)

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  18. This looks lovely!
    Hm, do you think hulled barley would work too?

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  19. Thank you Ivy! By all means you can try, I don't see why it wouldn't work :-)

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  20. Lovely. My kind of dinner. Should really use more barley in my cooking too!

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  21. Just my kind of recipe! Looks wonderful!

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