Roasted Courgette Orzotto

 

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Orzotto is a thing!  I didn’t know it was a thing until I spent a week in Dubrovnik recently and tried some myself.  Oh boy, it was GOOD.

Orzotto is basically a risotto made with pearl barley instead of rice.  The food in Dubrovnik has quite a heavy Italian influence (think pizza, pasta, grilled veggies… all the good stuff!), and orzotto is no exception.

You can substitute the veggies in this with any other roast veggies and I’m sure it’ll taste just as good.  Be sure to roast your veggies with olive oil, balsamic, garlic, salt and pepper before you mix it in too, as it just makes the flavour so much tastier.

Pearl barley – not just for soup apparently!

 

Ingredients

3 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 small/medium courgette (zucchini), cut into 1/2 cm thick rounds

1 small onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of crushed garlic

200g pearl barley

2 handfuls of roughly chopped spinach

1/2 cup white wine

1 litre vegetable stock

1 tsp chopped fresh flat leaf parsley

1 tsp chopped fresh basil

sea salt and ground black pepper to taste

optional 1 Tbsp vegan parmesan – I use Violife Prosociano which I pick up from Ms Cupcake in Brixton

Method

Preheat oven to 220C (425F)

Heat 1 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large saucepan and add the finely chopped onion

Heat the onion on medium heat, stirring until translucent (about five minutes)

Add two cloves of crushed garlic and stir until combined

Stir in the pearl barley and spinach and cook for a couple of minutes

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Add the white wine and stir.  Allow the wine to evaporate.

(Optional – drink the remainder of the bottle of white wine ;-))

Add the stock in 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring occasionally, and allowing each cup of stock to fully evaporate before adding more stock

While the pearl barley is cooking, prepare the roast courgettes

Add the sliced courgette rounds to a small bowl and top with 1 of the cloves of crushed garlic, 2 Tbsp of the olive oil, the balsamic and salt and pepper to taste.  Toss to coat.

Place the courgette rounds on a baking tray and cook for 25 minutes (longer if you cut thicker rounds)

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Perfect roasted courgettes

Continue cooking the pearl barley mix for 30 minutes, adding more stock after the current stock evaporates

When the pear barley is ready, remove from heat and stir in the corgette, basil and parsley (and parmesan if using) and a generous amount of salt and cracked black pepper

Serve by itself or with a side salad and more roasted veggies

 

Makes enough orzotto for two people

Time to make: 20 minutes prep, 30 minutes on the hob = 50 minutes

On a scale of easy (1) to pull your hair out difficult (5) = 3, you will need to keep an eye on the pearl barley, stirring to keep from sticking to the pan, and adding stock every few minutes.

#nowplaying The Charlatans – Just When You’re Thinkin’ Things Over

 

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