It's March 16 today and I bet a few of you are planning on celebrating St. Patrick's Day today. I bet some of you are looking for green food to whip up, some of you are looking for an easy and yummy meal to soak up some of the Irish brews you'll be enjoying later, and maybe a few of you are looking for a recipe you can make for a date. Whatever the case, I think that today's dish will bring the luck of the Irish to you.
Today's dish is green, easy to make and filling, and fanciest enough looking to be perfect to make for someone special. It's only fancy looking though, so don't get worried. It's not really fancy...
Read on for my take on a Veggie and Shrimp Barley Risotto. It's inspired by one from Food Network Canada.
Veggie and Shrimp Barley Risotto - serves 4-6
1 leek, light green and white parts only, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 button mushrooms, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups uncooked barley
5-6 cups vegetable stock
1 small bunch of kale, ribs removed and chopped
1 small bunch of thick asparagus, chopped
2 cups of small shrimp, sustainably sourced
1 preserved lemon, minced
1/4 cup cream cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
1. Start by sautéing leeks, garlic, and mushrooms in the olive oil. Cook until soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the barley and stir to combine. Then add in some of the vegetable stock and let cook until it's almost all absorbed.
3. When the stock is almost all absorbed, add another cup or so of stock, the kale, and the asparagus. Let cook until the stock is also most all absorbed again and continue adding adding more stock until the barley is almost fully cooked.
4. When the barley is almost fully cooked, add the minced preserved lemon, the cream cheese, and the shrimp and cook until the shrimp are cooked through and warm.
5. Season to sate with salt and pepper, serve, and enjoy with friends.