Tibetan Barley Risotto

     With Gold Forest Grains recent availability of Tibetan barley, I wanted to do a risotto. The grain of this cracked barley is very much like small pebbles. Once stirred slowly with ladle after ladle of hot stock, it becomes a luxurious, toothsome treat that is a base for any number of flavours: sausage, grilled vegetables, or as I did it today, with hot smoked salmon from another small Edmonton business, Ocean Odyssey Inland.


Tibetan Barley Risotto with Hot Smoked Sockeye Salmon

2 tsp Mighty Trio Organics canola oil

1 cup onions, chopped into 1cm(1/2″) dice

1 cup celery, chopped into 1cm(1/2″) dice

1 cup Gold Forest Grains Tibetan cracked barley

4-5 cups chicken stock

4-5 cups water

200g(6oz/0.4lb) Ocean Odyssey Inland hot smoked sockeye salmon

1 cup Sylvan Star sheep’s milk Manchego cheese

2 Tbsp Mighty Trio Organics flax oil (optional)

     In a large pot, bring the stock to a simmer on the back burner. Keep at a low simmer throughout the cooking process.

     In another large pot, sauté the onions and celery in canola oil for about 5-7 minutes over medium heat until softened, but not browned. Add the cracked barley and stir for 1-2 minutes until the barley starts to toast and become fragrant. Ladle one or two ladlefuls of heated stock to the toasted barley and sautéed vegetables. Stir constantly over medium low heat until the stock absorbs almost completely. Keep adding a ladle or two of stock and stir constantly, allowing the stock to absorb in between additions over the course of 45-50 minutes until the barley is softened, swollen and still maintains a bit of pleasant, textural firmness. If you only cook for about 45 minutes, the firmness still highlights the unique texture of this heritage variety of barley, but if you cook for a further five or even ten minutes with another ladle or two of stock, the texture softens more and becomes almost like a porridge.

     When the desired texture is achieved, remove from heat, add, the flaked hot smoked salmon and shredded Manchego and fold them in gently so as to maintain large flakes of the salmon. Serve immediately in a bowl. Serves 4-6.


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