Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
With sage and garlic
200g closed-cup mushrooms, chopped
Good splash of olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 sage sprigs, leaves and stalks separated
400g pearl barley
125ml white wine
1 litre vegetable stock
200g butternut squash, 1cm cubed
Good pinch of salt and pepper
Heat a heavy-based saucepan with olive oil. Sauté the shallot and garlic for about 1 minute until starting to soften then add the sage stalks. Cook for a couple of minutes then remove the stalks.
Add the pearl barley and cook for 1 minute, continuously stirring. Pour in the wine and reduce to a tablespoon’s worth then pour in the stock. Stir well and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, until the stock is absorbed, and the barley is soft
Meanwhile, sauté the squash and mushrooms until golden, seasoning well. Chop and add the sage leaves, stir in and cook for a minute or 2 longer, then add to the pearl barley.
Add the parmesan and butter to the pan, stirring well until all mixed in. Add a splash of hot water if the risotto feels like it should be loosened. Put a lid on the pan and leave to rest for a few minutes before serving with extra cheese and plenty of black pepper.