- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based pan over a medium/low heat.
- Add the leek tops, onion and garlic and gently cook without browning, for 5 minutes.
- Add the barley, half of the lemon zest and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
- Add the wine (if using) and bring to the boil.
- Pour in enough boiling water to cover the barley and simmer gently, stirring regularly, until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Top up with more boiling water if necessary and continue cooking until the barley is tender but with a bite – approximately 30-40 minutes.
- Set aside to rest.
- Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the shredded greens for 2 minutes.
- Drain the greens but save the water.
- Blend the greens to a purée, adding a little of the cooking water if necessary. (Keep any leftover cooking water as stock in your fridge or freezer).
- Stir the green purée into the barley and season well with salt, pepper and lemon juice.
- Serve by spooning into bowls and top with the remaining lemon zest and the breadcrumbs.
Kale and lemon barleyotto with breadcrumbs
- Prep time 10 mins
- Cook time 1 hrs 30 mins
- Serves 5+
Recipe developed by eco-chef Tom Hunt
Locally grown, yet undervalued, barley is a delicious alternative to rice. It is easy to grow and has a strong, deep root system that helps prevent soil erosion. It is also an affordable and nutritious, grain. Use it to bulk out broths, as a base for a whole grain salad or in risottos – known as barleyotto or orzotto in Northern Italy. Like many foods, wine has become a commodity, lowering its quality whilst increasing its impact on the environment. Choose wine the same way you do good food: buy less, but better, from vineyards that care for the environment.