I personally love risotto (which can be healthy) but when I discovered the Weight Watcher Barley-Asparagus “Risotto” with Balsamic Vinegar I knew I had to try it. This recipe says that is it less intensive than regular risotto but I disagree.
The recipe is really delicious but is labor intensive.
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium uncooked onion, minced
1 cup uncooked barley – use quick-cooking variety
3 cups fat-free chicken broth
½ pound uncooked asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2 inch pieces
¼ cup chives, fresh sliced (I used green onions)
1 ½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/8 tsp table salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Warm oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
Add onion and cook, stirring, until onion is tender, about 6 minutes.
Stir in barley and cook, stirring, about 1 minute more.
Add broth, cover and simmer over low heat for 8 minutes. In my experience (I have cooked this recipe twice), it takes longer than 8 minutes for the barley to absorb the broth. I also left the saucepan on medium heat to help absorb the barley. The barley should look similar to this when cooked.
Stir in asparagus and simmer 2 minutes more.
Remove from heat, stir in chives and vinegar; season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
One cup of the “risotto” is worth 4 points. I served the Barley-Asparagus "Risotto" with Balsamic Vinegar with a piece of grilled chicken.