Mixed Mushroom Orzotto
In some parts of Italy orzo, or barley, is used in place of Arborio rice to make a risotto-style dish. Barley is naturally low in fat and makes for a satisfying and tasty meal when combined with earthy mushroom flavours.
1 Pour 400ml of boiling water on to the dried mushrooms and leave them to rehydrate.
2 In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil then add the onion. Fry on a medium heat for a few minutes until lightly browned.
3 Add the garlic and fry for a couple of minutes more, stirring gently.
4 Add the fresh mushrooms to the pan along with the barley and fry for a few minutes, stirring to coat all the barley in a layer of oil. Add a touch more olive oil if the pan is too dry.
5 Pour the white wine into the pan and boil this on a medium heat for a minute or two, to cook off the alcohol.
6 Add the dried herbs to the pan, crumble in the stock cube then stir well to incorporate these.
7 Next, add the rehydrated mushrooms to the pan along with a third of their soaking liquid and half of the lemon zest.
8 Bring the pan to the boil, cover it with a lid and then leave it to simmer gently. Check the pan regularly and top it up with more of the liquid when all the moisture has been absorbed by the barley. The barley will take between 35-45 minutes to cook; it should be soft but still have a bit of bite.
9 When the orzotto is almost cooked, stir in most of the fresh herbs and the frozen peas, then cook for a few minutes more until the peas are done. Check and adjust the seasoning, then serve the orzotto garnished with the remaining fresh herbs and lemon zest.