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Ingredients:
1 tbsp olive oil
50g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
400g mixed mushrooms, wiped clean and finely sliced
200g butternut squash, peeled and diced
250g pearl barley (or spelt)
½ tsp dried sage or 1 tbsp chopped fresh sage
1 litre chicken or vegetable stock
25g Parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra Parmesan to serve
salt and black pepper

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Barley Risotto with Mushrooms and Butternut Squash

SERVES: 4

I love a risotto and barley is a wonderful alternative to ordinary rice now that I’m following my healthy eating plan. There’s nothing complicated about barley and it soaks up flavours in the same way as rice. You could also make this risotto with spelt.

1. Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a large saucepan. Gently fry the onion and garlic for 2 minutes, then add the mushrooms and butternut squash. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are collapsing down and everything is softening.

2. Add the barley or spelt, then the sage and season with salt and pepper. Stir well.

3. Pour in the stock and bring it to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer gently, stirring regularly, until most of the liquid has been absorbed and the barley is tender.

4. Beat in the rest of the butter with the Parmesan until the risotto is creamy. Serve with more grated Parmesan.