This recipe was born out of a gentle spring evening with a few fridge ingredients knocking around and the prospect of a meal for one alone at the kitchen table. Sometimes you come up with the best ideas when you’re in your own company. Even though the recipe serves two people, I ended up eating the whole pot.
I used barley because I didn’t have enough risotto in the pantry – feel free to use either, though barley is a far cheaper option. As for blue cheese, use whatever’s available to you – my favorite is Saint Agur. Serve with a bitter salad of escarole or radicchio and a glass of crisp white wine.
- 1 small red onion, sliced
- pat of butter
- 3 handfuls barley
- 1 glass white wine
- 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
- 2 large handfuls fresh spinach
- 2 tablespoons cream cheese
- 1 3/4 ounces blue cheese
- juice and zest of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 scallion, very finely sliced (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- In a saucepan, sweat the onion with the butter until soft and golden. Add the barley and stir to coat for a minute.
- Pour in the white wine and half of the stock. Keeping the lid off, turn the heat to high and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Stir occasionally and gradually add the remaining stock as it is absorbed. Cook until the barley is al dente and the liquid has reduced.
- Add the spinach to the pan and fold in with a wooden spoon or fork as soon as it starts to wilt. Quickly introduce the cheeses and stir to melt entirely. Season to taste.
- Serve immediately with a little lemon juice and zest, and the scallion if you’re using it.
Try out these risotto recipes for dinner on Food Republic: