Tuesday 13 April 2010

Orzotto...a switch up on my usual go-to meal

Hailing from Friuli in Northern Italy (close to the borders with Austria and Slovenia) Orzo, or barley, is a staple and...as I discovered yesterday...an excellent substitution for rice in Risotto...making it ORZOTTO (how clever!)  Seeing as my mother's family comes from not too far down the road from Friuli I figured I couldn't go wrong trying my hand at this regional dish (it has to be in my blood...right?)

Those of you who have been following for a while will know, and appreciate, how much I love making a risotto. I love chopping, I love stirring and I love seeing it evolve from individual grains of uncooked rice to a creamy, soft blob of yummyness. Last night Raymond Blanc made a risotto on his TV show, which he LEFT TO COOK WITHOUT STIRRING...I just had to look away...

When I was cooking this Orzotto, however, I paid it far far too much attention...mostly because I had never cooked barley this way before.  I didn't know how it would soak up the stock, I didn't know if it would get sticky...I didn't really know anything...

At the end of it all...I had cubed and roasted a small butternut squash, sauteed some sliced chestnut mushrooms in advance and then got down to sweating my leeks and toasting my barley and then...adding stock...ladle by ladle until it seemed (to me) just right.  

Tasty and slightly chewy this comforting and satisfying orzotto was, for me, more filling than a risotto.  I hadn't been sure how the orzotto would taste, or the texture, so I thought that I would serve smaller portions with a salad (leftovers in the fridge)...it was a great combination!!   


  1. just as a post script...i had a bowl cold for lunch today...sprinkled with grana padano...yummy and totally not like cold risotto, which i can't stand! ahah

  2. I love this! I use orzo a lot, salads, pilaff.
    Is this orzo or Barley!
    This is another to add to my repertoire;Thank you Victoria.

  3. Sage...Rita...if you can make this you can make a risotto!!! :) xx