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Easy Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto

August 20, 2011

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This dish is wicked good comfort food.  The risotto taste like a hearty tomato soup and would be excellent as an entree (with some fantastic crusty bread) or would pair well with chicken, beef or a even grilled veggies.  Two thumbs up from my toughest critic (my wonderful husband).

Easy Creamy Tomato Barley Risotto

Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum Cookbook.

Yield: ~2 cups

Ingredients: 1 cup dry pot barley

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1/2 tsp dried basil

1 large garlic clove, minced

1.5 cups canned pureed/diced tomatoes (15 oz can)

1 cup almond milk (or other milk)

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (provides the cheesy/creamy taste)

1/4-1/2 tsp kosher salt, to taste

Directions: Rinse pot barley in a strainer and place into medium sized pot that has a lid. Add olive oil, basil, and oregano and stir well until barley is coated with oil. Turn heat to medium until barley begins to sizzle. Once the barley sizzles, add in the minced garlic and reduce heat to low-medium. Cook for 1 minute and then add in the tomatoes, milk, water, nutritional yeast, and salt. Stir well and bring to a gentle boil and then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook, covered (with a bit of air escaping) for 30-35 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes or so, being careful not to burn the barley on the bottom of the pot. The mixture should be creamy, but not soupy, and the barley will be very chewy and not mushy. Serve immediately. Serves 4 side dishes and makes 2 cups worth. Note: I read that it can take 2 hours to cook, but after just 35 minutes, I deemed it ready to eat. If you don’t want it as chewy you could always cook it longer.

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