Slow Cooker Barley Mushroom Risotto
Ingredients: 7 cups vegetable broth (you can use 4 cups broth, 3 cups water, or a different type of broth- whatever you like), 2 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 packages fresh sliced mushrooms (I used cremini, but you can also use shiitake or oyster), 2 shallots (finely chopped), 1 clove garlic (finely chopped), coarse salt and freshly ground pepper to taste, 1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves, 2 cups pearl barley, 1/2 cup goat’s cheese (crumbled), 1/2 cup grated romano or parmesan, snipped fresh chives for garnish (I used extra thyme leaves to garnish).
Instructions: preheat a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Heat 6 cups of broth (and/or water) in a saucepan over low. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 tbsp butter in a large skillet over medium. Add half the mushrooms (1 package) and sauté until tender (approximately 4 minutes) and transfer to a bowl. Add the other tbsp of olive oil and tbsp of butter and sauté the remaining package of mushrooms. Return mushrooms from bowl set aside to the skillet and add the garlic, shallots, 2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and thyme and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the barley, stirring to coat well. Increase heat to medium-high and add remaining 1 cup of broth. Cook for approximately 4 minutes until barley and mushrooms have absorbed broth. Transfer the barley mixture to the preheated slow cooker. Pour the heated broth over the barley in the slow cooker and stir together. Cover and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 5-6 hours. Before serving, stir in both cheeses until melted. Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with shaved cheese and chives.
Enjoy this yummy dish!