Risotto is typically made with Arborio rice, but pearl barley is a good substitute; it produces a dish that is similar in texture but with a nuttier taste and more fiber. If you prefer, you can replace the corn with other cooked vegetables, such as peas, green beans, zucchini, or mushrooms.
- 2 cans (14.5 oz each) chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- coarse salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup pearl barley
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 package (10 oz) frozen corn kernels
- 2 cups parked fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus some more for serving if desired)
- In a medium saucepan, bring broth and 4 cups water just to a simmer.
- Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, 2 tablespoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add barley; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Then add wine; cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 1 minute.
- Add 2 cups of hot broth mixture; simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Continue adding broth mixture in this manner until barley is tender and mixture is creamy, 40 to 50 minutes (you may not have to use all the broth). Add corn; cook just to heat through, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Stir in basil and Parmesan cheese; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, with extra cheese if desired.