This one-pot dish gives risotto a makeover with pearl barley and the refreshing flavors of tomato, kale and feta. This dish makes and easy and healthy meal, that also doubles up as tasty leftovers which can be brought to work and even be enjoyed at room temperature.
4handfuls kale,leaves removed from stems, finely chopped
Heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non-stick sauté pan or wok over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, reduce the heat to medium, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 5 minutes or until onion is soft.
Add the barley, thyme, smoked paprika, and red pepper flakes, and cook for one minute, stirring until barley is coated with the spices. Add the bay leaf, lemon rind, tomato passata and diced tomatoes, plus 3 cups of water. Season with a pinch of salt. Stir to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat so that the mixture is gently simmering. Cook for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally. The barley is ready when it is tender and most of the liquid should be absorbed. Taste and season with more salt, if desired.
Remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf, and discard. Stir in the greens and stir until they wilt. Gently fold in feta. Season with fresh ground pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, as desired and enjoy!
Kale can easily be subbed out with Swiss chard or spinach leaves.