Leek, mushroom & gorgonzola pearl barley
Self-saucing puddings are usually chocolate, lemon, or sticky toffee-based; they ‘magically’ produce their own sauce while they cook. They are well celebrated. But let’s take a moment to think about self-saucing dinners. There’s no roux to be seen in this bowl; you simply stir salty, oozy, punchy gorgonzola through sweet leeks, mushrooms and creamy, hearty pearl barley and – with a squeeze of lemon – hey presto! You’ve got sauce.
Serves 4 Prep 20 mins Cook 1 hr
5 leeks 2 tbsp unsalted butter 3 tbsp olive oil 200g chestnut mushrooms, sliced 350g pearl barley 1 litre vegetable stock 50g hazelnuts 160g gorgonzola dolce, in chunks 15g parsley, finely chopped, plus
extra to serve 1½ lemons, juiced
1. Remove any tough green ends and outer layers from the leeks, then cut them lengthways, but not all the way to the top, so you can fan them out under the tap and wash them thoroughly. Slice them into 5mm rounds. 2. In a large frying pan, melt the butter and oil together, then add the leeks and a pinch of salt. Cook for at least 10 mins, until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 5 mins. 3. Add the pearl barley and the stock and bring it to a boil. Turn down the heat and let it simmer for 25-30 mins, checking and stirring every 8 mins or so to stop it sticking to the bottom and adding a splash of water if the pan runs dry.
4. Meanwhile, toast the hazelnuts in a dry pan, then roughly chop them.
5. When the pearl barley’s cooked (soft and plump but with definite bite) and the liquid has all but cooked away, stir through the gorgonzola, parsley and lemon juice. Take off the heat and season to taste. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle toasted hazelnuts and extra parsley on top.
Recipes adapted from Carbs by Laura Goodman (£15, Quadrille). Photography © Louise Hagger