This is an adaptation of a rice risotto with equally delicious results.
3/4 cup (180 mL) dried assorted wild mushrooms
1 cup (250 mL) hot water
1 cup (250 mL) uncooked pearl barley
1/2 sweet onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/4 cups (560 mL) low-sodium vegetable stock
1 small bunch fresh asparagus
1/2 lb (225 g) fresh peeled and deveined prawns
1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup (80 mL) pine nuts
1/3 cup (80 mL) grated Parmesan
1/2 tsp (2 mL) truffle oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place mushrooms and hot water in small bowl. Let sit for 15 minutes to plump up mushrooms. Strain, reserving liquid. Coarsely chop mushrooms and place in 4 to 6 L slow cooker.
Add barley, onion, garlic, stock, and reserved liquid from mushrooms. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until barley is almost tender.
Trim asparagus and cut into 1 1/2 in (3.75 cm) julienned pieces. Fold into barley along with prawns and lemon juice. Cover and continue to cook on low for 1 more hour or a little longer if necessary. Barley should be tender and the liquid absorbed. Asparagus and prawns should be cooked through.
Fold in pine nuts and Parmesan and drizzle with truffle oil just before serving. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Each serving contains: 250 calories; 13 g protein; 8 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 34 g total carbohydrates (4 g sugars, 7 g fibre); 407 mg sodium
source: "Slow Cooking", alive #375, January 2014
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