Monday, January 19, 2009

Bacon Barley Risotto with Kale

I am sure this happens to everyone. You see a picture or read a recipe and think to yourself " I have to make this right now, today." That is what happened when I saw this ARTICLE in the local newspaper. I am in love with risotto, and also happen to love barley (you might be asking yourself, is there anything I don't love?), plus if you add dark greens and red peppers, man- I am in.
I was going grocery shopping that morning, so I just added a couple of things to my list and made this for lunch.
Have I mentioned how much I love dark greens? They might be my favorite thing, well, besides everything else that is my favorite.
I used real bacon, but reduced it to one piece with the fat removed, because I don't really think you need all that extra grease- a little goes a long way for me.
I also used a little less goat cheese than it called for and 2 bunches of kale. You can always use extra dark, leafy greens, right?
If you don't love the flavor of goat cheese, you might want to reduce it a little more or omit it.
We loved it. The leftovers were delicious too.
And I am so excited for tomorrow's Tuesday's with Dorie post - I got to choose the recipe!
BACON BARLEY RISOTTO WITH KALE from the Associated Press by J.M. Hirsch
Start to finish: 30 minutes
Servings: 6
5 strips bacon, finely chopped (I used 1 strip)
1 large yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
11-ounce box quick barley
4 cups (1 quart) chicken broth, divided (I used chicken stock)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 red bell peppers, cored, seeded and cut into thin strips
1 bunch kale, tough stalks discarded, coarsely chopped
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
4-ounce log goat cheese, crumbled (I used 2-3 ozs)
Arrange several layers of paper towels in a plate, then set near the stove.
In a large deep skillet over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crisp, about 6 to 7 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the bacon to the paper towels. Leave the rendered bacon fat in the skillet.
Return the skillet to medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes. Saute until the onion just begins to soften, about 4 minutes.
Add the barley and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of the chicken broth and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 4 minutes.
Repeat this process with the remaining 3 cups of broth, adding 1 cup at a time and cooking, stirring often, until absorbed. When the final cup is nearly absorbed, remove the pan from the heat, cover and set aside.
In a second large skillet over medium-high, heat the olive oil. Add the bell peppers and saute until just soft and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
Add the kale and bacon, then saute until the kale just wilts, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the kale mixture to a serving platter, or divide it between 6 serving plates.
Uncover the barley and stir in the goat cheese. If needed, season with salt and pepper. Mound the barley risotto over the kale mixture. Serve immediately.

Coming Tomorrow- MY Pick for Tuesday's With Dorie- Fresh Berry Cake!


Marie said...

What a beautiful presentation Mary Ann! I feel like I could just dig my fork into your picture. It looks fabulously delicious!

Lisa said...

I have been dying to make barley risotto. Yours looks wonderful.

Ms Whit said...

I know this is a recipe site, however, I need prayer from everyone out there.

My husband's nephew, 6 year old Dylan Moore, from Gaston , North Carolina , been diagnosed
with Fanconia Anemia and is very sick
in the hospital at Minneapolis Minn . where he has had a bone marrow transplant.
Around Christmas time his kidneys failed and he had to go an dialysis and be put on a ventilator.
Well he sort of improved after people and churches prayed for him in mass numbers.

Now he has a fever of 105 degrees, has developed tumors behind his heart and the lymph nodes.
His oxygen level has decreased and he has infection in his lungs.
The doctors have done a biopsy on the tumors in the lymph nodes, no report yet, and they are talking about
going into the ones behind his heart, which I understand will be very serious surgery.

Dylan has been thru so much, I don't know how much more his little body can take.
I am asking all of you to
pray for him, take it to your friends, family and Churches, ask God to heal
him so he can come home a healthy little body.

There is a site:
that tells about Dylan. Please log into it and read
it and tell your friends to please pray for him.

This is from his Granny Frances and Papa Whit.
We are the closest thing to grandparents that he has.

Thank you for letting me put this on your site.

You can send Dylan at card at

Dylan Moore
920 Delaware St. S.E.
Apt 2024
Minneapolis, MN 55414

His parents have an apartment there and he will get the mail quicker than sending it to the hospital.

University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital-Fairview
500 Harvard Street
Pediatric BMT Room 5-516
Mpls, MN 55455 enjoy your site very much.

The Blonde Duck said...

That sounds really good! You really should write a cookbook!

Cathy said...

This looks REALLY great! I find that cooking is really fun when you love lots of things, don't you? This has lots of good stuff in it, and you've gone and made it even healthier for us -- thanks! I can't wait to see how everyone made out with your cake tomorrow!! It is fun to try a recipe with a challenging technique every once in a while -- keeps things interesting!

And prayers for the little boy in the comment above.

Anonymous said...

Barley risotto sounds wonderful. I can't wait to see what you did with the berry surprise cake.