Barley Seafood Risotto
Elm City Market = Foodie Inspiration.
I am a food lover through and through. I love cooking it, eating it, talking about it, writing about it, and telling people about it! As a food blogger, and local New Haven-ite, I am so excited to partner with Elm City Market (ECM) to bring you delicious recipes, and hopefully a bit of inspiration to get in the kitchen! All of the ingredients for my recipes are purchased at ECM; everything you see here, you can get at the market and make for dinner tonight. Each week I’ll be featuring special and sale items, local companies, or simply what I was inspired by during my weekly grocery shopping trip!
The bulk foods section of ECM is one of my favorite places in New Haven. Is that weird? I always find something new – black quinoa, farro, wheat berries, and of course barley! I stumbled upon barley risotto in a quest to fuel my body with healthy, nourishing foods while still needing to satisfy my craving for all things pasta. At the store this weekend, I was pondering what kind of barley risotto to make, and immediately knew as I walked by the fresh meats and fish. The scallops were just calling my name – but at $18.99 a pound, one (who has student loans, a job at a non-profit, and rent to pay!) can’t go too crazy. So, I bought a 1/2 pound of mussels at $2.99 a pound ($1.50 for 20 mussels = HUGE score), and just a few scallops as a special treat to sear and serve atop the risotto.
This risotto is absolutely delicious, and very low maintenance as far as risotto goes. While the traditional style of cooking risotto involves lots of time over a hot pan on the stove, this is baked in the oven, and requires very little effort. Don’t like scallops? Go for shrimp or lobster. Not a mussel person? Use clams! Ah, the beauty of cooking at home where the freedom is yours to make every recipe your own!
Barley Seafood Risotto
serves three-four, can easily be doubled for larger crowds
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot, minced
2 leeks, cleaned, sliced into thin discs
1 Cup pearled barley
1/2 Cup sherry (or white wine or seafood stock)
3 Cups seafood stock, preferably low or no salt
1/2 lb mussels, cleaned
1/2 tablespoon butter
juice and zest from 1/2 lemon
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste
small handful parsley, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400. In a large heavy bottomed pot, heat the olive oil on medium.
When the oil is shimmering, add in the shallot and leeks, and saute for about two or three minutes, until fragrant.
Add in the barley, and toast on medium, stirring occasionally, for about three more minutes. Add in the 1/2 cup sherry (use what you have on hand – sherry, white wine, or just an extra 1/2 cup seafood stock) and stir until the liquid evaporates.
Add in the 3 cups of stock, salt and pepper (start with a 1/2 teaspoon each, and just go from there) and the crushed red pepper flakes.
Cover the pot, and bake in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Once you’ve reached thirty minutes, take the risotto out, add the mussels, and stir once. Cover, and place back in the oven for three to five more minutes (as soon as the mussels open, they are done.)
During those last few minutes, heat a saute pan on medium high with 1/2 tablespoon butter, and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Salt and pepper the scallops, and sear for about two minutes on the first side, and one minute on the second.
Take the risotto out of the oven, garnish with the lemon juice, zest, and parsley. Spoon into bowls, and top each dish with a few scallops.
Serve immediately. Enjoy!!
Karen Lenahan, born and raised in New Haven and Hamden, has had a food blog, Small Kitchen Big Taste for going on three years. She is a passionate foodie, and loves bringing healthy and delicious food to her table, and inspiring you to bring it to yours.