Slow Cooker Mushroom Barley Risotto

Featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on March 12, 2014.

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Ingredients:

Slow Cooker Mushroom Barley Risotto

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large Maui onion, finely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced (may substitute portabella or button)
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 ounce Parmesan, grated (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Directions:

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions, salt and pepper to taste; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the barley and thyme; cook, stirring, until the barley is just golden, about 2 minutes.

Transfer to a 6-quart slow cooker; add carrots, broth, and water. Cover and cook on HIGH until the liquid is absorbed and carrots and barley are tender, about 3 hours. Discard thyme; stir in Parmesan and vinegar. Thin risotto with warm water for desired consistency, as needed. Garnish with parsley; season to taste with salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving (not including salt to taste):
440 calories, 10 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 5 mg cholesterol, 300 mg sodium, 76 g carbohydrate, 17 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 15 g protein

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