Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Barley "Risotto" with Vegetables (Page 263)

  • Date: Monday, October 1, 2007 -- 7pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: A-

I LOVE risotto, but I am out of risotto recipes in The Book, so this "risotto" was the closest I could come. The "risotto" in the title refers to the risotto-like technique with which it is prepared. The quotation marks indicate that this recipe is made with barley, rather than the arborio rice of a true risotto. I admit it, I was skeptical. In fact though, it was delicious. The "risotto" had the lovely creamy texture of a true risotto, yet the barley retained a bit of its own chewy texture for contrast. The flavor was lovely -- the wholesomeness of the barley was complemented beautifully by the parmesan cheese. I even liked the little chunks of carrots and zucchini. I had worried that they would be overcooked, but they still had some crunch to them. The Book suggests serving this as a first course or a side dish, but I ate it as a main course and I thought it was perfectly suitable for that purpose. It was a great vegetarian dish, with a lot of flavor and a creamy texture that you certainly wouldn't expect from barley.

Unfortunately, this recipe is not online.

Well it has been a few weeks since my mother left town, and I am now down to only 2 flavors of ice cream in the freezer! I am making progress... There are certain foods that I never buy at the grocery store for myself (ice cream, packaged cookies, etc...) but I find that if I have them already (say, hypothetically, that my mother bought them for herself and didn't eat them all...) I do enjoy eating them!

My grocery trips have become a bit odd since I have been living by myself. Here's what I buy: ingredients for whatever I am making from The Book that week, Clif bars, microwave popcorn, Smart Start, tapioca pudding cups, skim milk, and bananas. That's it. Despite that limited selection, my fridge and pantry are extremely well-stocked. The recipes from The Book call for a wide variety of ingredients, of which there are usually leftovers from which other food can be constructed. And, perhaps, my eating is a little bit quirky anyway when I am on my own. For instance today I packed myself a healthy lunch (leftover barley risotto and a banana), but for dinner I had Smart Start and microwave popcorn. I had plenty of other food choices, but sometimes I just feel like popcorn for dinner! It's a bad habit leftover from college I guess -- but the popcorn dinner has a lot of fond memories attached to it.

It's late and I haven't finished planning my class for the morning. I should do that...

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