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Guest Post- Beet and Gorgonzola Cheese Pearled Barley with Cream Sauce

The first guest post is from my good friend Mimi whose gorgeous blog Chef Mimi blog  has inspired and delighted me for a long time. She is an amazing cook, prolific writer and world traveller and her delicious recipes are beautifully executed, photographed and I know eagerly gobbled up by her family. I am a big fan of risotto and love her take on it using barley and beets and creamy gorgonzola. Without further ado here is Mimi’s wonderful recipe, thank you so much for writing this post for my blog. Please pay Mimi a visit and if you want to print out this recipe you can do so from her blog.

When I first read through Eataly, the cookbook, this recipe caught my attention. It’s risotto made with barley, flavored with beets, and topped with a Gorgonzola cream! Plus, it was really pretty.

The Eataly cookbook, featuring “300 landmark recipes highlighting the best of contemporary Italian home cooking,” is a hefty volume. I’ve already made one recipe for the blog, and although it was poorly written, which seems crazy these days, it turned out great.

Maybe the Italians don’t follow the same recipe protocol as we do here in the United States? I assumed it was a universal thing, but who knows?

In any case, I knew I just had to try this recipe. Full disclosure, however, I substituted feta for the Gorgonzola.

Beet and Gorgonzola Cheese Pearled Barley with Cream Sauce
(that’s the actual name of the recipe in the book)

9 ounces pearled barley
2 cooked beets, cut into cubes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Generous 2 cups vegetable broth
7 ounces white wine
5 ounces Gorgonzola, cut into cubes
1 3/4 ounces whipping cream
2 ounces butter, cut into cubes
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
Salt
A few thyme sprigs to garnish (optional)

Soak the barley in a large bowl of cold water for 2 hours. Rinse and drain well.

Put the beets, 2 tablespoons of the oil, a pinch of salt, and 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the broth into a food processor and blend to a purée.

Pour the remaining broth into a pan and bring to a simmer. Keep over a low heat while you make the risotto.

Put the drained barley into a pan, add the remaining oil and a pinch of salt, and toast the barley over medium heat for 6 minutes, stirring continuously.

Add the wine and cook for a few minutes until the wine has evaporated, then add a ladleful of the broth.

Cook the barley over medium heat for about 30 minutes, gradually adding in more broth, a ladleful at a time, until all of the liquid is absorbed by the barley, adding the beet puree 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.


Meanwhile, put half the Gorgonzola and the cream into a food processor and blend to make a light, creamy sauce.

Once the barley is cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, the remaining Gorgonzola, and the butter.

Divide among individual serving dishes, flattening the surface with the back of a spoon. Drizzle a spiral of Gorgonzola cream sauce over the top of each dish and garnish with a drizzle of oil and some thyme leaves. (I obviously didn’t use thyme leaves.)

I served the barley and beet risotto with some rosé to make the meal even more festive. Or, at least, pink!

This risotto, although really not a risotto, is absolutely fabulous. I was surprised there was no onion or garlic, but it’s more about the taste of the grain, plus the broth and cheeses.

I know this would also be really good with Gorgonzola, but the feta cream was outstanding with the beet-flavored risotto.

 

Beet and Gorgonzola Cheese Pearled Barley with Cream Sauce

9 ounces pearled barley
2 cooked beets, cut into cubes
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Generous 2 cups vegetable broth
7 ounces white wine
5 ounces Gorgonzola, cut into cubes
1 3/4 ounces whipping cream
2 ounces butter, cut into cubes
1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese
Salt
A few thyme sprigs to garnish (optional)

Soak the barley in a large bowl of cold water for 2 hours. Rinse and drain well.

Put the beets, 2 tablespoons of the oil, a pinch of salt, and 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon of the broth into a food processor and blend to a purée.

Pour the remaining broth into a pan and bring to a simmer. Keep over a low heat while you make the risotto.

Put the drained barley into a pan, add the remaining oil and a pinch of salt, and toast the barley over medium heat for 6 minutes, stirring continuously.

Add the wine and cook for a few minutes until the wine has evaporated, then add a ladleful of the broth.

Cook the barley over medium heat for about 30 minutes, gradually adding in more broth, a ladleful at a time, until all of the liquid is absorbed by the barley, adding the beet puree 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

Meanwhile, put half the Gorgonzola and the cream into a food processor and blend to make a light, creamy sauce.

Once the barley is cooked, remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, the remaining Gorgonzola, and the butter.

Divide among individual serving dishes, flattening the surface with the back of a spoon. Drizzle a spiral of Gorgonzola cream sauce over the top of each dish and garnish with a drizzle of oil and some thyme leaves.

16 Comments Post a comment
  1. That looks absolutely beautiful and delicious!

    January 22, 2018
  2. Thanks Suzanne!

    January 22, 2018
  3. so what’s cookin’…

    Would we consider this a meal in itself or a side dish for perhaps some roast chicken or fish

    Barley as in Barley Soup is always a filling dish for me

    Happy ☀ Monday

    January 22, 2018
    • It can be either. With a salad it’s wonderful or as a side with chicken or fish!! Have been getting out and working on inspiration today I took down Christmas decorations. Been so nice out loving it!

      January 22, 2018
      • Last night was so gorgeous outdoors

        I took my dog Sami for a nice long walk

        We stopped at a neighborhood park where she was running around like a nut

        …and her favorite

        Rolling in the Grass

        Happy to hear your doing marvelous 💜

        January 22, 2018
  4. Is there any way you can put the feature photo at the top of the post. If it’s asking too much ignore me! It’s the one that shows the whole bowl, and some silverware.

    Sent from my iPad

    >

    January 22, 2018
  5. How wonderful to feature Mimi for a guest post! I absolutely agree about everything you said about her! Beautiful and elegant dish, too.

    January 23, 2018
    • Thank you so much, totally agree I have enjoyed Mimi’s blog for years. She is amazing.

      January 23, 2018
  6. Hi Suzanne. I enjoyed this joint effort. My imagination can’t do this justice, but the photos show me that it’s delicious. A very unique dish (or it is to me anyway). Hugs to you both.

    January 23, 2018
    • Hi Teagan, it is a lovely, creative and delicious recipe for sure. Hugs my friend and thank you!

      January 23, 2018
  7. What a beautiful and healthy recipe Mimi shared! Larry loves barley (he’s a whole grain kind of guy) and I know he’d go for this!! How are you doing. Been thinking about you… Hope you’ve been cranking up that new stove!! hugs to you and Percy!

    January 25, 2018
  8. Wow! What great flavours! That looks seriously good 😀😀😀😘😘

    January 26, 2018
  9. I love risotto, Suzanne! I will try it later because I haven’t try beetroot in my risotto before. Certainly, it is delicious! Thanks

    January 27, 2018

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