Ever since corn started selling for 6 for $1, exactly 6 corn cobs have been in our crisper every week. No more. No less. You should see us at the store as we hog up the trash can and ferociously pull apart the husks. The Hungryman’s becoming an expert ;). Sure I could spend another whole $1 to buy 6 more, but that’s a bit much for the two of us…oh and the Kones buddy. In case you’ve been wondering how he’s doing, here he is, looking cuter than ever ;). I don’t get to spend as much time with him lately as I began my clinical rotations for my dietetic internship. His chewed up, weapon-like nails tell me he’s not very happy being alone (he has a tendency to bite his nails when he’s stressed)…poor guy…
As you can imagine, I’ve been scouring the web and my ever-growing collection of recipe books for delicious ways to enjoy these delightful kernels. And unsurprisingly, Everyday Food came to the rescue. Barley risotto with corn and basil? Why, I didn’t even have to run out to the store as all the ingredients are staples around here.
Although risotto is traditionally made with arborio rice, barley makes for a great substitute. Not only is it more nutritious, loaded with tons of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, the slightly chewy and nutty flavor make the dish even more exceptional.
Making risotto is incredibly simple. However, it does test your patience. For nearly 40 minutes, you have to stand over the stovetop and stir constantly while ladling in warm broth a little bit at a time. I suggest you find something enjoyable to do at the same time so you’re not checking the clock every minute. I chose to catch up on shows that I’ve missed for the past month. Watching television is a luxury these days so I thoroughly enjoyed “multi-tasking” ;).
The combination of creamy barley risotto with sweet corn, fresh basil, and sharp parmesan cheese screams comfort to me. Hope you give this recipe a try!
If you have any corn recipes that you love, please do share! 😉
- 2 cans (14.5 oz each) low-sodium vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- ½ tsp paprika
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup pearl barley
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups fresh or frozen (unthawed) corn kernels
- 2 cups lightly packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
- Drizzle of lemon
- In a medium saucepan, bring vegetable broth and water just to a simmer; reduce heat to low, and cover to keep warm.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, paprika, and season with salt and pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 4-5 minutes. Add barley; cook, stirring, 1 minute. Pour in wine; cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.
- Ladle in 2 cups warm broth; cook, stirring frequently, until almost completely absorbed, about 12-15 minutes. Continue to add broth 1 cup at a time, stirring frequently and allowing liquid to be almost absorbed before adding more. Repeat until barley is tender and mixture is creamy, 40-50 minutes (You may not need all the broth. I had about a cup left over). Add corn; cook just to heat through, 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat. Stir in basil and parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, garnish with more cheese and drizzle some lemon juice on top.