Well things are going just dandy here over in almost-PhD land. My first draft of my dissertation is due on the 4th - and I've written all that I feel needs to be written until I get feedback from my advisor. Total page count is 169... doesn't seem like a lot when you consider it's a full 5 years worth of work. Today I took it easy and did some formatting at home. At noon I went for an hour long walk around my neighborhood and listened to the Bugle.
This evening I threw together a nice meal of a barley risotto with asparagus and peas. I have to say that I'm not a huge fan of the barley- so I'd suggest using arborio rice instead - and you'd have to adjust the cooking time for that. But if you like barley- this dish is super fast and not that bad!
Asparagus Pea Barley Risotto
2 tsp EVOO
1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 cup quick-cooking barley
3 cups vegetable broth
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 1 inch sections
1/2 cup frozen peas
1/4 cup chopped chives
1 tsp lemon zest, plus more for garnish
1.5 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
Na++ and papper
Heat oil in a pot and add onion to saute. Saute maybe 6 minutes, and add the barley. Saute that mixture for a minute and then add the broth. Turn the heat to low and cover, and simmer 8 minutes. Add asparagus, chives, and zest - return cover and simmer 2 more minutes. Add the balsamic and cheese and season with salt and pepper. I had a lot of liquid, so I turned up the heat at the end and boiled it off.
It's not creamy like a traditional risotto, but it's a very light meal and pairs well with a nice mixed greens/goat cheese/roasted beet/pecans salad.
On the side are some sauteed cherry tomatoes. These are literally my favorite side dish of all time. I toasted some chopped rosemary in olive oil until fragrant, then added the tomatoes. They cook up in no time and are sweeter than candy. Mmm-mm. Try mixing them with spinach and topping garlic bread with the mixture. Meal from heaven!
Now to turn off my brain and watch Gossip Girl. Love it!!!