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

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