Park your vehicle somewhere in a random cornfield in Sasketchewan, Canada. Or wherever you can find a nice quiet spot. Listen to the crickets and bees humming. Bees are very busy and never not working, but this can make you reflect and wind you down for a bit, strangely enough.
Ingredients (serves 4)
This recipe is totally copied from Ottolenghi, but with our own twist. Just to show that you don’t always need to follow the recipe and can improvise when you need to. Which is basically always when you’re on the road.
200 grams of Barley
30 grams butter
6 tbsp olive oil
2 small celery stalks, chopped
2 small shallots, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
a few twigs of fresh thyme (or dried like we used)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika powder, we used normal paprika powder
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 can of diced tomatoes
7 dl vegetable stock
3 dl passata, we used tomato paste and some water
1 tbsp caraway seeds
300 gr feta, diced
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, we used parsley this time
Start cooking after you have sat down and listened to the bees.
Rinse the barley with cold water and drain. Melt the butter and two tbsp of olive oil in a big skillet and saute celery, shallots and garlic for 5 minutes on a low heat, until they are glazed.
Add the barley, thyme, paprika powder, bayleaf, lemonzest, chili flakes, tomatoes, stock, passata and 1/2 tbsp of salt. Stir well and bring to a boil, then lower heat and let the risotto simmer for 45 minutes until cooked (make sure to check and taste often, as barley is sometimes quicker also depending on the type of brand). Stir frequently. When the barley is ready it should have absorbed most of the moisture.
Meanwhile toast the caraway seeds and bring your spouse a drink. Slightly bruise the seeds a bit and mix with the remaining olive oil and feta.
When all is done, serve the risotto on deep plates and add to each plate some feta,oil and some fresh oregano or parsley.
This is comfort food, so enjoy and be happy you are not a bee.