Cathy's Kitchen Prescription LLC
Waiting for Spring Sprouted Orzotto
with Zucchini and Golden Beets
Orzotto is barley’s answer to risotto. This one’s made with whole (hull-less) barley, giving it a wonderful nutty, toothy texture, with a creamy finish from blended whole oats. Spouting the grains before cooking provides added nutritional benefits: As the groats germinate they release enzymes that increase the bioavailability of vitamin C, folate, minerals, protein, soluble fiber, drop even lower on the glycemic index and lower their gluten content nearly by half. And if that weren’t enough, germination also speeds cooking time considerably. To save time, cook the oats and grind the dehydrated soup vegetables a day ahead.
Serves: 4 to 6
Prep time 2 to 3 days to sprout the barley plus 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 to 50 minutes
1 ½ cups hull-less or hulled barley, soaked overnight and rinsed 4 xs/day over 2 days
2 cups dense cooked oats from ½ cup steel-cut oats, cooked, cooled, then blended
3 cups flavorful unsalted vegetable broth from 1/2 cup dehydrated soup vegetables, ground
1 large onion, cut in half and cut in 1/8” slices
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
3 tablespoons dry white vermouth or vegetable broth to deglaze pan
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups golden beets from bunch with greens, cut in quarters then cut in 1/8” slices
4 medium zucchini, cut in 1/8” slices
Few grinds of black pepper
Beet greens, cut in 1” slices, smallest leaves reserved for garnish
Juice and zest from 1 organic lemon to taste
1/2 cup shiro (mild, white) miso paste, or to taste, diluted with water
Rinse the barley groats. Add to a bowl, cover with water, and soak overnight or from 6 to 8 hours. Rinse and drain in a strainer placed over a bowl. Rinse and drain in the strainer 4 to 6 times per day over the next 2 days. It’s fine to leave the barley on your countertop to monitor its progress. When white tips and some thin white root hairs begin to emerge and the seedcoats have softened enough to easily cut through, your sprouted barley is ready for orzotto.
To prepare the oats, add ½ cup steel-cut oats to 2 cups water in a small saucepan. Heat to a very gentle simmer, stirring to help coax the starches from the oat groats. Cook until tender, about ½ hour. Cool pot in cold water to bring to room temp, then use a stand or immersion blender to blend into a smooth creamy dense sauce. Refrigerate.
Use a coffee or spice grinder to powder the dehydrated soup vegetables. This makes a great salt-free alternative to bouillon. Mix with hot water just before needed.
Heat a large sauté pan or skillet for 2 minutes over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté them dry until they turn golden and lightly darken the pan. Deglaze the pan with vermouth or broth. Add the thyme and garlic and cook for a minute, before stirring in the sprouted barley. Cook for a minute and add 2 cups of hot vegetable broth.
Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the barley is almost tender. Stir in the beets, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Now stir in the zucchini and cook for another 5 minutes. The barley will absorb liquid as it cooks. If the mix has become too dry, add a ½ cup broth or more as needed.
Check for doneness. When the orzotto is close to an al dente toothiness/chewiness, stir in the blended oats and lower the heat a little. Pepper the orzotto to taste. Now add the beet leaves, cover, and cook for the final few minutes. to achieve a creamy finish.
Serve on warmed plates. Season each serving with a squeeze of fresh lemon, a few spoonfuls of diluted shiro miso (the amount will depend on the serving size). Scatter a few tiny beet greens on top, a pinch of lemon zest, and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.
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