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Barley Risotto with Summer Vegetables

Yield 6 servings (serving size: 1 1/3 cups risotto and about 1 1/2 tablespoons cheese)
Regular olive oil is a good choice for sautéing vegetables--it adds a mild olive oil flavor and can stand up to higher-heat cooking. It also coats the barley grains so they don't clump. Try other summer vegetables in this satisfying side dish, such as corn, zucchini, or even lima beans.

Ingredients

  • 6 cups water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow squash
  • 1 cup finely chopped orange bell pepper
  • 1 cup (1/2-inch) cut green beans
  • 1/2 cup minced shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups chopped seeded peeled tomato (about 2 medium)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Nutrition Information

  • calories 262
  • caloriesfromfat 28 %
  • fat 8.2 g
  • satfat 2.7 g
  • monofat 4 g
  • polyfat 0.9 g
  • protein 7.9 g
  • carbohydrate 42 g
  • fiber 8.9 g
  • cholesterol 7 mg
  • iron 2.2 mg
  • sodium 653 mg
  • calcium 67 mg

How to Make It

  1. Combine 6 cups water and salt in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

  2. Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash, bell pepper, and green beans to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

  3. Heat remaining 4 teaspoons oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add barley; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add water mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of water is absorbed before adding the next (about 45 minutes total). Add squash mixture, and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and stir in tomato and basil. Top with the goat cheese.