Walnut and Wild Garlic Pearl Barley Risotto

This isn't right.

This is the first post on here in ages. It features some novel approaches to using up ingredients, it presents some unique flavour combinations that some people may not have considered before and it also contains a healthy dose of vibrant, nutritious and ever so tasty wild garlic*

And it is not my bloody recipe.

No, this is my wife's work and something is seriously wrong here and it needs investigating.

However, I am not one to let pride get in the way of a good thing and to be fair, this really did taste flippin' delicious when Mrs FU made it the other day. Walnut can be overwhelming sometimes but stirred into the pearl barley and accentuating all that inherent 'nuttiness' in this wholesome grain was an excellent move. I'd even say that it could be served as a stand alone but if you do have some salmon lurking around, that wouldn't be a bad accompaniment either. As also considered by Mrs FU and it's got me thinking.

Perhaps I should post some more of her recipes on here in future? Perhaps she could help to bolster the content on this blog? An extra cog in the machine?! Mwahahaha!

I know, I know, the tone of this post is now all starting to sound rather belittling and sinister.

Don't worry, there isn't another Walter Keane in the making here. She's a brilliant cook and I am just having fun.

Besides. She would never let me get away with it.

Walnut and Wild Garlic Pearl Barley Risotto - serves 4


Pesto mix
100ml rapeseed or olive oil
70g whole walnuts
70g Stilton
Juice from half a lemon
Small bunch wild garlic (12 leaves)
Small bunch coriander
Small bunch dill

2 tbsp rapeseed or olive oil
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 celery sticks, peeled and chopped
1 glass of white wine
300g pearl barley
1 litre chicken stock
Large knob of butter
Sea salt and cracked black pepper to season


Place all the ingredients into a blender and quickly pulse until you have a beautiful green paste (I prefer slightly coarse).

Heat some oil in a wide pan and add the chopped onion and celery. Cook gently, until really sweet and soft, stirring from time to time.

Add the pearl barley and cook off for another two minutes before adding the white wine, stirring until it evaporates.

Start adding two ladles of stock at a time. Again stirring all the while and let the stock absorb before adding again. Don't let it dry out completely.

Keep going until all the stock is gone or until the pearl barley is almost tender.

Add the pesto mix and butter and heat through before serving.

Serve with pan-fried salmon fillets and dress with wild garlic flowers.

*Wild garlic is very nearly out of season but if you want some asap, I can post for a nominal fee of £45.21 a kilo. This is Danny now by the way.


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