2 tbsp olive oil
4 spring onions, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 red chilli, finely sliced (reserve some for serving)
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup quick-cook barley
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups vegetable stock, simmering in a pan with a pinch of saffron added
¾ cup freshly grated parmesan, extra for serving
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 handfuls of fresh coriander, torn (reserve some for serving)
This is a perfect autumnal supper. The chillies provide heat to ward off those change-of-the-season nasties, while the sweet potatoes, barley and parmesan combine to create a rich, savoury meal. Not only is barley loaded with vitamins and minerals but it’s also a fantastic source of fibre, helping to lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar.
In a heavy bottomed casserole dish, heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, sweet potatoes, chilli, salt and pepper, and sauté for 10-15 minutes, until the onion and sweet potato begin to soften.
Add the barley, and fry for another minute, stirring constantly. Add the wine, and stir until the liquid has evaporated. Start to add the vegetable stock, a ladleful at a time, waiting until the previous one has been absorbed before adding the next. The risotto is ready when the barley still has a slight bite.
Stir in the butter, parmesan and coriander. Serve sprinkled with some slices of red chilli, a sprinkle of parmesan and coriander.