Spinach Barley Risotto

From Nutrition Action Healthletter, June 2008
Serves 5

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
8 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ cups Scotch barley
1 cup white wine (Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio)
5 cups water
10 oz. baby spinach (or rough chopped regular sized spinach)
¼ cup grated Parmesan
½ cup light sour cream
1 tsp. kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté the onions until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the barley. Add the wine and simmer until it’s absorbed, about 5 minutes. Stir in 3 cups of the water and simmer, covered, until it’s absorbed, about 30-40 minutes. Add the remaining water and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the grains of barley are tender, but still a bit firm in the center, about 10 minutes. Stir in the spinach, Parmesan, and sour cream. Season with salt and pepper.

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