Green Mac and Cheese is one of my most popular recipes ever. This is a similar idea, but with risotto. To get it as green as possible, I wanted to be sure that there was a green element in the risotto cooking liquid. My plan was to go to the store and just grab my favorite green ingredients! I couldn't turn up some beautiful tomatillos, one of my favorite ingredients green or otherwise, so from there this sort of turned into a mexitalian hybrid meal.
With the tomatillos we achieve level 1 greenness.
Rinse the barley before cooking it.
Green peppers bring us to level 2 greenness.
You don't really need wine, but i asked Steph if she had any laying around and she had this old box of wine in her fridge. Works for me! I tasted it first to make sure it was still good, and it was.
The green puree.
Half of the puree halfway through cooking brings us to green level 3.
The rest in at the end of cooking brings us to the fourth and final green level.
This meal was fantastic! A little lighter feeling cause of the barley and all the blended veg in there, but still very hearty and comforting.
The subtle mexican flavors from the tomatillo, pinch of cumin, and mexican cheese, mixed well with he Italian flavors like parsley and basil and risotto.
For the green puree - bunch scallions, handful of parsley, handful of basil, 2 handfuls spinach. Salt, pepper, into a food processor. Add some olive oil and blend until smooth.
Simmer 5 tomatillos in at least 5 cups of chicken stock until tender. Puree the tomatillos in a blender and return them to the simmering stock. Rinse about 2 cups of pearled barley. Cook a pound of ground turkey or pork and drain most of the fat. Add a diced onion and green pepper some olive oil and salt. Cook about 10 minutes until things soften up a bit. Add a pinch of cumin and chile powder. Just a pinch! add 3 cloves diced garlic. 1 minute. Add the pearled barley and stir to make sure the barley is coated with oil. 2 minutes. Add a half cup white wine if you have it. If not, just slowly add ladle-fulls of the stock tomatillo mixture stirring often until the risotto is tender and delicious. About 40 minutes. If you need more liquid, just add water to your simmering stock. Half way through cooking, add half of your green puree mixture, at the end, remove from heat and add the rest of the puree mix and a few handfuls of crumbly fresh Mexican cheese.