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Mushroom Barley “Risotto” with Truffle Cheese, Herb and Microgreen Salad
Make the Mushroom Stock: Pour a small splash of olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat. Add fresh mushrooms, carrot, onion, garlic and a small pinch of kosher salt and sweat for about 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure nothing burns. Add the dried mushrooms, pour in 10 cups of water and bring to a boil then reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for at least 30, longer if you have the time. Remove from heat and strain into a medium stock pot, pressing down on the vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard the vegetables and place the strained stock over very low heat to keep warm while you make the risotto.
Make the “risotto”: Wipe out the large pot you used to make the stock with a paper towel, then add the butter and melt over medium heat. Add shallot, leeks, and a pinch of salt and saute for 3-5 minutes, until they start to soften. Add mushrooms and thyme and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add barley and a small pinch of salt and let toast for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant. Add white wine to deglaze and scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan, and cook for a few minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated. Reduce the heat to medium-low and pour in a ladle of mushroom stock. Stir frequently until the most of the liquid has been absorbed by the barley. Continue this process of adding a ladle of stock and stirring until it has absorbed for about 30-40 minutes, when the barley is tender but still has a bit of a bite to it. Remove from heat and stir in truffle cheese and lemon zest. Taste for seasoning and adjust, if needed.
Microgreen Salad: In a medium bowl, toss together the parsley leaves and microgreens, then coat with a drizzle of olive oil and toss. Add salt and lemon zest and a small squeeze of lemon juice, toss to combine. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Serve atop the risotto.
Cooking Tip: Prep the mushrooms used in the risotto ahead of time and use the discarded stems in your stock for an no-waste flavor booster.