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This Fire Roasted Tomato and Barley Risotto recipe is sponsored by Hunt’s Tomatoes. All opinions are 100% mine.There’s a crisp Fall chill in the air these days and I absolutely love it!! This is my favorite season of the year! And if you are like me, you start to crave warm, hearty comfort food recipes like today’s delicious Fire Roasted Tomato and Barley Risotto. This creamy Fire Roasted Tomato and Barley Risotto is loaded with seasonal ingredients including tomatoes, butternut squash, Tuscan kale and leeks. And even though our backyard garden tomatoes are now past their growing season – we can still get peak-of-freshness flavor for our family recipes thanks to Hunt’s tomatoes. Over the coming months, I’m pleased to let you know that we will be sharing lots of delicious recipes made with Hunt’s tomatoes. All of Hunt’s tomatoes – including the super flavorful Hunt’s Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes used in today’s recipe – are 100% natural and non-GMO, with no artificial preservatives. Hunt’s peels all of its diced, whole and stewed tomatoes with FlashSteam™ which is steam from simple hot water. And because Hunt’s peels their tomatoes with FlashSteam™ instead of chemicals like lye*, that also means no chemical by-products go back into the earth. To kick off our partnership with Hunt’s, last week I was invited to a Tasting Table in New York City, where I enjoyed an amazing, restaurant-quality dinner with some fellow food bloggers. All the dishes were prepared with Hunt’s tomatoes, and because Hunt’s tomatoes are picked at the peak of ripeness and go from field to can within hours, the flavors were amazing! We also had the opportunity to see a FlashSteam™ demo (on a smaller scale, of course, than what you’d see at Hunt’s home in California) – and the demo showed us how we could steam our own garden tomatoes at home following a similar process! Seeing a similar version to this all-natural approach first hand makes me feel better about using Hunt’s products in our recipes. Hunt’s tomatoes are available in a wide variety of options including diced, stewed, whole, and organic – and they use non-BPA lined cans for all of their products. Now – a little more about our delicious Fire Roasted Tomato and Barley Risotto! The Hunt’s Fire Roasted Tomatoes have a rich, intense tomato flavor that is perfectly complemented by the roasted butternut squash and the healthy Tuscan kale. Like any risotto, this one-pot recipe does take a little bit of time and attention (and stirring!) – but it’s actually simple to prepare. Any leftovers will also pack-up for a delicious lunch the next day. For more information about Hunt’s tomatoes, visit them online or follow them on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. #HuntsDifference *Lye peeling is generally recognized as safe by the FDA and has no adverse effects on the healthfulness of tomatoes.
- 1 pound butternut squash
- 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 14.5-ounce cans Hunts All-Natural Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes
- 1½ cup leeks, cleaned of sand, white parts only, diced
- 1 tablespoon fresh garlic minced
- 1½ cups Tuscan kale, cleaned, stems removed and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, pulled from stems and divided
- 1 pound dry pearl barley
- ½ cup white wine
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 4 cups whole milk
- Kosher salt to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons butter
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
- Peel squash and cut into half inch thick slices. Doesn’t matter how big the slices are as they will be diced after roasting.
- In a small bowl mix squash with two tablespoons of oil, half teaspoon of salt and quarter teaspoon of pepper.
- Spray a small sheet pan with pan spray then line with a cut piece of parchment paper. The spray will stop the paper from sticking to the pan as the squash roasts, making for easy cleanup. Pour the squash onto the pan in a single layer and roast close to bottom of oven for 25 minutes, flipping half way through. The high heat will put a nice roasted surface on the outside while the center cooks. Remove from oven, cool and cut into bite sized pieces. Set aside.
- Pour both cans of the Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes into a strainer over a bowl to drain but do not discard liquid.
- While squash is roasting, heat a four quart pan over medium high heat with two tablespoons of oil and add leeks. Stir and cook until the leeks are no longer raw but not fully cooked, about two to three minutes.
- Add garlic, kale and half the thyme, reduce to medium and cook for four to five minutes, or until kale starts to wilt.
- Add last tablespoon of oil and dry barley and stir and cook for three minutes.
- Add wine to deglaze pan bottom. This will splatter so use caution.
- Keep the pan between medium and medium high and add the reserved tomato liquid but leave tomatoes in strainer over bowl. (More liquid will drain which may be used to reheat leftovers.) Cook kale mixture until all of this liquid has been absorbed. Then add one cup of broth. Stir and cook until absorbed then add one of cup of milk. Again cook and stir until absorbed then alternate between broth and milk until it is all used, making sure not to add each cup until the previous cup is absorbed. This process will take about 30-35 minutes.
- Test a grain of barley for doneness at 30 minutes. If it is still not quite tender, add a little more reserved tomato liquid and cook until the barley is tender but still has a slightly crunchy chew feel.
- Stir in the Hunts Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes, remove from heat, cover and let rest ten minutes to heat through.
- Adjust seasoning then stir in squash, butter, cheese and remaining fresh thyme.
- Serve warm with additional shaved Parmesan cheese over the top.
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