Wild Mushroom and Leek Pearl Barley Risotto

to all the mushroom lovers out there

Hands up if you love mushrooms?

They are one of my favourite foods out there. And I love how many varieties they come in. Tom and I grabbed a coffee and wandered up to our farmers market on Saturday morning to see what it’s all about. I normally go to Ridley Road Market which is much smaller and right by the flat, to get our fruit for the week. But I’ve been meaning to wander a bit further and see what the fuss is all about.
And wow were we amazed. Growing Communities Market is situated in Stoke Newington, a walk away from Dalston and a short bus ride from Shoreditch. At the market there are stools that sell hand-made breads, cakes and chocolates, fermented foods, kombucha, pickles and hemp products and lovely organic veg from Kent, Essex and Cambridgeshire, salad leaves, seasonal fruit and exotic mushrooms.
Local producers sell homemade cakes, Turkish pancakes and creole fritters to eat there or take away. Or you can enjoy a mushroom sandwich alongside a latte from the cafe. Basically it’s my kind of heaven!

So I saw so many wild mushrooms that i didn’t recognise and decided to make a pearl barley risotto with them. This risotto is free from meat, dairy and eggs and is super flavoursome. The pearl barley adds lovely texture and the added rocket (i’m obsessed with rocket as well) works wonderfully.

The servings for most of my savoury recipes are for 4 people, but Tom and I (okay maybe just I) have humongous appetites so we easily polish off the recipe between the two of us.

feeds 4 people
takes approx. minutes in total.

350g wild mushrooms or mushrooms of choice
2 leeks (trimmed and sliced)
400g pearl barley
3 shallots (diced)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
2 garlic cloves (crushed)
1 litre of vegetable stock (2 stock cubes plus 1l of boiling water)
50g vegan Parmesan or dairy free cheese alternative
100g of rocket (or spinach)
sprinkle of fresh thyme (chopped)

1. In a pan over a medium heat, add your olive oil and fry your shallots for a few minutes.
2. Next add your garlic, fresh thyme, leeks and mushrooms and fry for a further 4 minutes.
3. Add your pearl barley and combine.
4. After a couple of minutes pour in your vegetable stock and let gently simmer for 45 minutes until the stock has been absorbed. Stir occasionally.
5. Once the stock has absorbed stir in your rocket or spinach and vegan Parmesan or alternative and stir for a couple of minutes until the leaves have wilted.
6. Serve with extra Parmesan on top.
Enjoy! – share and tag your creations with me on Instagram @whatluceeats


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