Prep Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- 1 bunch curly kale, de-stemmed and leaves coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 8-9 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 3 tablespoons butter or olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons store-bought pesto
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Toss kale, 2 tbsp olive oil, nutritional yeast (if using), and 1/2 tsp. salt into a bowl and massage until oil coats kale. Divide mixture into two baking sheets and bake, tossing and rotating halfway through, until kale is crispy, about 15 minutes. Set aside.
- In a cast iron skillet, toast barley on medium low heat until golden brown for 5-10 minutes, making sure to toss every so often. Move barley to a bowl and set aside.
- Bring broth to a boil in a large saucepan and add red pepper flakes. Reduce heat to low and continue to keep broth warm.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tbsp. butter or olive oil. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-5 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.
- Add barley, thyme, oregano, bay leaf, and 2 cups of broth to the skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer, making sure to stir often until broth is absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth, let barley absorb broth, but making sure to stir often. Add remainder of broth in 1/2 cup increments until you have a creamy mixture and barley is tender, about 45-60 minutes. Remove bay leaf once barley is cooked.
- Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, parsley, and 2 tbsp butter or olive oil into barley mix. Remove from heat, stir in pesto, and half of roasted kale. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve barley risotto into bowls and top with rest of crispy kale.