Mock Risotto

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time25 mins
  • Serves4
  • DifficultyEasy
1/2 cup (3 1/4 ounces) whole grain brown rice
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) pearl barley
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch crushed red pepper flakes, optional
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
1 pound thin asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, 3 cups
6 ounces button mushrooms, quartered, 2 cups
2 ounces 1/3 less fat cream cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese or vegetarian alternative
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the rice and barley and cook until al dente, 15 minutes. Drain well.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, pepper flakes (if using) and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the onion is tender and beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Stir in the drained rice mixture. Add 2 cups broth, cover and cook until the rice and barley are tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Stir in the asparagus and mushrooms and continue to cook, covered, until the vegetables are tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup broth, cream cheese and Parmesan until melted and creamy. Sprinkle with chives and zest.

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