Monday, July 8, 2013

Jerusalem in Jerusalem: Barley Risotto with Marinated Feta

This is a temporary measure. Really what I would like to be writing about is this wonderful potato salad with roasted radishes that I have been making, but it is not quite ready yet. The dressing still needs a bit of work, and I don't want to post it until I get it down. In the meantime, have some Ottolenghi, which, to be fair, is a pretty awesome temporary measure. As temporary measures go, I would say it's a 14/10 in a blow your mind kind of way.

Barley Risotto with Marinated Feta

As always, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi's Jerusalem

1 cup pearl barley
2 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 stalks celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, diced
4 sprigs thyme
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
4 strips of lemon peel
1/4 teaspoon chile flakes
1  14-oz (400 g) can chopped tomatoes
1 1/4 cups of crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock or water
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
10.5 oz (300 g) feta, crumbled
1 tablespoon fresh oregano

1. Rinse the barley and drain. In the meantime, melt the butter and 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large pot. Add the celery, onions and garlic and cook  over a low heat for about 5 minutes until soft. Add the barley, thyme, bay leaf, smoked paprika, lemon peel, chile flakes, tomatoes, stock or water and some salt. Stir and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 45 minutes, stirring often so that the barley doesn't stick.

2. While the barley is cooking, toast the caraway seeds in a dry pan until they take on some color and smell toasty. Lightly crush them. Add them to the feta along with the rest (4 tablespoons) of the olive oil. Stir to combine.

3. When the barley is soft and most of the liquid has been absorbed, remove from heat. Serve in bowls, topped with feta and a sprinkling of oregano.

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