Saturday, December 8, 2007

Pumpkin Barley Risotto with Turkey

This is a great fall/winter dish when you are craving something warm and filling. This traditional dish is made healthier by substituting some of the white rice for barley, a whole grain. In addition, there is a healthy dose of pumpkin puree which is very high in anti-oxidants.
Changes to the original Recipe: I always add scallions and grated sharp cheddar at the end for some extra flavor, as well as a pinch of pumpkin pie spice.

From Every day with Rachel Ray, October 2007

1 quart chicken broth
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
¼ cup long-grain rice
¾ cup pearl barley
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of pumpkin pie spice
⅓ pound ground turkey or ground turkey breast
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
Grated cheddar cheese

In a small pot, warm the chicken broth over low heat. In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat, then add the rice and barley and toast for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season the grains with the nutmeg and pumpkin pie spice and stir in half of the warm broth. Cook until the broth bubbles, about 5 minutes. Then add the turkey, crumbling it as you drop it into the skillet, and cook until the liquid is absorbed by the grains, about 5 minutes. Stir in the remaining broth, ½ cup at a time, allowing the broth to be fully absorbed before adding more. Cook until the barley is tender, about 18 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Cook over medium heat until just heated through, about 1 minute. Season to taste with salt and top with grated cheddar cheese and scallions.

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