I was hoping to publish this recipe last week, but that didn’t happen, so here it is! haha Perfect for Meatless Monday! This healthy recipe could also be great for wheatless Wednesday! 😉
It was my first time using fiddleheads! I found that it tasted similar of asparagus, but with a more pronounced “dirt” taste. It wasn’t bad, but I’m not sure if I’ll buy more next year. Time will tell! Fiddleheads are such a delicacy, and a protected delicacy, maybe I’ll let others enjoy them.
This is totally vegan, although it is your choice to add some dairy cheese or vegan cheese at the end. I prefer real cheese made from raw milk from grass-fed/pastured organic cows, but my husband cannot eat dairy, so he had his vegan soy-free cheese.
This recipe can be done in under 45 minutes, all you have to do is use the cooking time of the barley to cut and cook the rest of the vegetables. That’s how I save time in most of my cooking, by starting with the part that takes the longest to cook, and then cutting and preparing the rest.
This recipe does include cooking with wine. If you’ve never cooked with wine before, it’s as simple as can be! It adds an incredible layer of flavour, and not to worry, the alcohol evaporates very fast with the heat, so you are left with flavours only, but no alcohol!
Barley is an ancient grain with a low glycemic index, with many health benefits, like helping with insulin levels, lowering cholesterol, lowering high blood pressure, helping in weight loss, and more. (Source: Whole Grains Council)
This recipe is a lovely change from traditional risotto made with rice, and a nice way to add beneficial whole grains into your daily family life.
Barley Risotto with Fiddleheads and Asparagus | Vegan
A great spring recipe for a vegan barley risotto with fiddlehead and asparagus
- 1 onion (large) minced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 cup pearl barley uncooked
- 1/3 cup organic white wine
- 3 cups low-sodium organic vegetable broth
- 1/2 tsp unrefined sea salt
- 1/8 tsp freshly ground organic black pepper to taste
- 1.5 cups wild fiddleheads washed, trimmed
- 8 oz organic shiitake washed, dried, and sliced
- 1/2 lb asparagus washed, cut in large pieces
- 1/2 lemon juiced
- In a large pot over medium heat, add some olive oil (be generous, 2-3 Tbsp), and sauté half of the minced onions for about 4-5 minutes, or until they start roasting on the edges. Then add half of the minced garlic, and continue cooking for 30-45 seconds. You want the garlic to be roasted just a bit but not burnt! Add the pearl barley, and mix well for 20-30 seconds to coat with the oil. Increase the temperature a bit, to medium-high heat, add the white wine and stir for 30 seconds or so. Then add the water (or broth), one cup at a time. Always stir and bring it up to boiling point in-between each cup of water. If using the bouillon cube, add it after the first cup and mix it well until it's completely dissolved. Once all the water is in, bring to a final boil, then reduce the temperature to medium-low heat and cook for about 30 minutes, or until cooked, with a slight 'al dente' crunch. You will want to stir once in a while, especially near the end, so that it doesn't get stuck at the bottom.
- While the barley is cooking, wash the fiddleheads and cut the ends, put into a pot with a steamer, bring water to a boil, and steam for about 8-10 minutes. While this is cooking, prepare, cut and cook the rest of the onions and the mushrooms in a large pan over medium heat, with olive oil. Once they are nicely roasted (8-10 min), add the pieces of asparagus, cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, then add the rest of the minced garlic, 1/4 tsp sea salt, and sauté for an additional minute or two, then lower heat to low.
- When the barley is cooked, mix in 1/4 tsp of sea salt, and mix it in with all the veggies. Add the fresh lemon juice, and freshly ground pepper (if using), mix, add a generous amount (approx. 1/2 cup) of cheese (organic dairy or vegan), mix, and serve immediately, with a side green salad.
Note: I do not believe anyone should worry about counting calories, but here is the nutritional information for one serving
Calories: 267kcal | Fat: 2g | Sodium: 356mg | Potassium: 643mg | Carbohydrates: 51g | Fiber: 10g | Sugar: 3g | Protein: 11g | Vitamin A: 950% | Vitamin C: 16.9% | Calcium: 44% | Iron: 2.4%