Food: Weeknight Suppers #3

The third instalment of our Weeknight Suppers series comes by special request of our June retreat cohort.  They loved our pearl barley baked risotto, so here's the recipe so you can re-create it at home.  Healthy, yummy, quick.

Tomato & Bacon Barley Risotto

  • for two people
  • 250g of pearl barley
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 150g lardons
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 stock cube

This doesn't contain wine, so saves on a few calories and doesn't compromise on taste, plus you can bung it all in the oven and leave it to cook!

  1. heat oven to 180C add some oil to a casserole dish or high sided baking tray and put in the oven;
  2. around 15 minutes later, the oil should be hot, chop garlic and onion finely and add to the oil, so release some aromas;
  3. add lardons and return dish to oven whilst you weigh/open everything else and boil half a kettle;
  4. after 5 minutes, take out the dish again, add barley and chopped tomatoes.  Put the stock cube in the tomato tin and fill halfway with hot water.  Stir/dissolve the stock cube and add to the dish;
  5. there should be twice the depth of water to the risotto ingredients (so if the barley etc comes 1cm up the side of the dish, the liquid should be 2cm deep);
  6. place tin foil over the top of the dish, poke a steam hole in the top;
  7. place in oven for 40 minutes.  Check halfway and add more water if necessary.
  8. let stand with foil on for 5 minutes after removing from oven.

Serve with green or baby spinach salad for a nicely balanced meal!