Ingredients Jump to Instructions ↓

  1. 50 ml vegetable oil

  2. 1 onion, finely diced

  3. 1 celery stalk, finely diced

  4. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  5. 400 gm (2 cups) pearl barley, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, drained

  6. 2 litres (8 cups) vegetable stock

  7. Juice of 1 lemon

  8. 100 gm finely grated pecorino

  9. 1 each carrot, onion and celery stalk, finely chopped

  10. bunch thyme

  11. 2 fresh bay leaves

  12. 250 ml dry white wine

  13. 2 tbsp white wine vinegar

  14. 4 globe artichokes

  15. 4 cups (firmly packed) stinging nettles (see note)

  16. 1 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley

  17. 200 gm softened butter

  18. 2 garlic cloves, minced

  19. Finely grated rind and juice of 1 lemon

Instructions Jump to Ingredients ↑

  1. Serves 6 Prep time 30 mins, cook 1 hr (plus soaking)

  2. "The pearl barley is really comforting and you can use the leftover nettle butter for months – melt it over an omelette or finish meat with it."

  3. For artichokes, combine carrot, onion, celery, herbs, wine and vinegar in a large saucepan, add 2 litres water, season to taste, bring to the boil. Meanwhile, remove outer leaves from artichokes and peel outer flesh from stalk. Add artichokes to stock, cover with baking paper, submerge with a plate. Bring to the simmer over medium heat, remove from heat, stand until completely cool. Remove artichokes, halve lengthways and remove hairy chokes with a teaspoon. Thinly slice, set aside.

  4. Heat oil in a large saucepan over low-medium heat, add onion, celery, garlic and bay leaves and saut until tender (12-15 minutes). Add barley and deglaze pan with wine, then add vegetable stock a ladle at a time, allowing it to be absorbed without evaporating too much, until all stock is added and barley is tender (30-35 minutes), adding artichokes during the last 5 minutes of cooking.

  5. Meanwhile, for nettle butter, blanch nettles and parsley in boiling water until just tender (20-30 seconds). Refresh, drain, finely chop, wrap in a tea towel, squeeze out excess water. Transfer to a bowl with butter, garlic, lemon rind and juice, season to taste, mix well to combine.

  6. Stir half the butter through barley (remaining will keep frozen for 3 months), add lemon juice, season to taste and serve scattered with pecorino.


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