This recipe comes from our regular contributor Annette Tomei. In addition to offering us some great wine recommendations, Annette is a trained chef and cooking instructor. Although she creates recipes for clients all the time, this barley risotto is one she made for herself. It’s her way of enjoying risotto on a healthy diet.
Swapping out arborio for barley also gives the risotto a unique texture and greater depth of flavor. There’s a heartiness to it that truly speaks of fall and winter. For us she added apple, the fruit of temptation and one of the greatest aphrodisiacs for women. (A recent study found that women who eat an apple a day have more satisfying sex than non apple eaters!) Annette says that to change things up, she sometimes adds juicy pear–which also has a great aphrodisiac reputation. You really can’t go wrong with this one!
- 2 c diced peeled apples
- 2 tbsp butter
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 tsp fresh thyme leaves chopped
- 2 c vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1/2 small onion finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic minced
- rounded 2/3 c pearl barley rinsed, drained
- 1 1/2 oz freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Brown the apples in butter in a large sauté pan. Season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme. Set aside.
Bring broth to simmer in saucepan. Reduce heat to low and cover to keep warm.
Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in large sauce pan. Add onion and garlic, sauté until tender.
Add barley, stir until coated with butter, about 1 minute.
Add broth a little at a time (about 1/4 cup is good); simmer, stirring often, until broth is absorbed.
Add remaining broth in the same manner, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until barley is tender, but still firm to bite, about 40 to 50 minutes.
Add apples and Parmesan cheese, then adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
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