Cook: MM Mushroom Orzotto

A Meatless Monday meal that would be utter perfection with a nice garden salad on the side with perhaps a glass of wine, too! The orzo is surprisingly rich with the addition of mushrooms and Parmesan. I have found that if you don’t have mushroom lovers in your house, cutting the mushrooms onto small pieces or slices masks the texture that turns most people off. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time as the ‘shrooms will cook really quickly when small. Bon appetit!

Mushroom Orzotto from Food & Wine

1 cup pearled barley

1 quart chicken stock or low-sodium broth

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 pound shiitake, stems discarded, caps sliced 1/4 inch thick

1 garlic clove, thinly sliced

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

  1. In a medium pot of salted boiling water, cook the barley for 15 minutes. Drain the barley and let it cool slightly. In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a boil; reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
  2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the mushrooms and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Cook over moderately high heat, stirring, until the mushrooms are softened and the garlic is fragrant, about 4 minutes. Add the barley and stir to coat. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook over moderately low heat, stirring constantly, until nearly absorbed. Continue adding the stock 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly between additions, until the barley is al dente and suspended in a creamy sauce, about 25 minutes. Stir in the butter and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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