Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Barley Risotto with Eggplant and Tomatoes

Risotto in any form is a labor of love! While not rocket science, it does take some time and finesse to prepare. This healthy risotto uses barley in place of the traditional arborio rice. It has a nutty, chewy texture and is quite hearty and filling. Barley is a complex carbohydrate that digests slowly. It has fiber and antioxidants. When consumed regularly, it can boost digestive health and may cut heart disease and type 2 diabetes risks.
This recipe also has a Mediterranean taste with the eggplant, tomatoes and goat cheese. Feel free to substitute whichever vegetables you like.  I think this would be good with some roasted red peppers, too!

serves 6 ( about 1 c. = 8 points +)

  • 6 c, diced eggplant
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes
  • 3 T. olive oil, divided
  • pepper
  • 5 c. fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 c. water
  • 2 c. finely chopped onion
  • 1 c. uncooked pearl barley
  • 2 tsp. crushed garlic
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • salt
  • 1/2 c. ( 2 oz) crumbled soft goat cheese
  • 1/4 c. pine nuts, toasted

Preheat oven to 400. Combine eggplant, tomatoes 2 T. oil and 1/4 tsp. black pepper in a large bowl. Transfer to a jelly-roll pan. Bake for 20 minutes or until tomatoes begin to burst and eggplant is tender.

Meanwhile, combine broth and water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer. Do not boil. Keep warm over low heat.

Heat remaining 1 T. oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and saute until tender. Stir in barley and garlic; cook 1 minute. Add wine and cook 1 minute or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup broth mixture to pan; bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook until liquid is nearly absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture one cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next ( about 40 minutes total). Gently stir in eggplant mixture, salt and pepper to taste, pine nuts and goat cheese.

adapted from "Cooking Light"

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