INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 large leek, sliced

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 400 grams of pearl barley

  • 1 litre of vegetable stock

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, slice into rough 1 centimetre pieces 

  • 50 grams of peas (frozen are fine)

  • Handful of parsley, leaves and stalks finely chopped

  • Zest from 1 lemon

  • 100 grams of spinach

  • Bunch of basil, leaves and stalks

METHOD

  1. Sweat the leek for about 3 minutes over a medium heat. Add the garlic and continue cooking for an additional minute, or until soft.

  2. Add the pearl barley, and toast for about 1 minute. Next add all of the stock and cook with the lid on for 25 minutes on a medium heat, you can stir for a creamier orzotto, but if you need to get something else done, just occasionally scrape the bottom of the pan, if it dries out add a splash of boiling water.

  3. Add the asparagus, peas, spinach, lemon zest and parsley, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. We are aiming for all of the stock to be absorbed and the pearl barley to be cooked but not overly stodgy.

  4. Remove from the heat, add the basil, mix and enjoy