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Lemon Barley “Risotto” with Bacon & Spinach

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6 slices bacon

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup chopped shallots or onions

1 1/3 cups quick-cooking barley

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 ½ cups low-salt chicken broth

¼ lb. (4 cups loosely packed) baby spinach, washed and spun dry

1/3 cup fresh grated Parmesan Cheese

3 tsp. finely grated lemon

  1. Crumble into small pieces. 
  2. Heat in pan to medium high.
  3. Add the shallots or onions to a skillet on med-high and cook until they start to soften, about 1 minute. 
  4. Add the barley and cook until well coated with pan drippings, about 30 seconds. 
  5. Add the lemon juice and cook, stirring for 15 seconds.
  6. Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil, scraping up any browned bits in the pan.  Reduce the heat to medium low, cover, and simmer until the barley is tender, 12 minutes.
  7.  Uncover the pan, raise the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
  8.  Stir in the spinach and cook until wilted, 1 minute. 
  9. Stir in the bacon, parmesan cheese, and lemon zest and heat through, 1 to 2 minutes. 
  10. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Add Chicken or Shrimp for something a little different

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