Kale, Walnut and Lemon Pearl Barley Risotto Recipe

Risotto is a dish that adapts well to every season. Depending on what ingredients you use to flavour yours it can be light and delicate (Leek and Pea Risotto), or rich and decadent (Red Pepper and Goats Cheese Risotto). However, flavours are not the only way in which you can influence the seasonality of a dish. Though traditionally made with short, fat rice, it is possible to incorporate other grains or even pasta into a risotto. This recipe for Kale, Walnut and Lemon Pearl Barley Risotto runs with that idea, taking a step closer to winter perfection.

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Spinach, Feta and Walnut Pesto

You wouldn’t think it from the limited selection available at supermarkets, but pesto is an incredibly versatile sauce. A quick internet search reveals just how much variety there is out there, beyond the traditional Genoese basil flavour. My advice is to go with the seasons when it comes to pesto – basil isn’t always the best choice. For instance, there’s a definite autumnal feel about this Spinach, Feta and Walnut Pesto – very comforting indeed.

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Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake

Though the apple season has more or less passed, it is a fruit that can be made to last extremely well. Indeed, it isn’t unheard of for apples to remain edible for 6-12 months if stored in a dry place and wrapped individually in newspaper. Since October is arguably peak season for this universally beloved fruit I’ll assume there are a few spares to hand for this wintry Spiced Apple and Walnut Traybake.

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Baking bread is one of those ironic acts that everyone wants to do, but very few actually go ahead with. Yet, despite the evident irony, the state of laziness in which we find ourselves is understandable; there is something magical about the smell and taste of freshly baked bread, hence the desire; yet the process itself can appear rather time consuming. Indeed, those of us who do occasionally succeed in baking a loaf of bread do so on days on which one has the luxury of being able to potter around the house. We all fall foul of such lethargy from time to time, myself included, so I shall try my utmost to instil within you an overwhelming compulsion to leaven on a regular basis. That is, assuming indolence isn’t the reason behind your lack of freshly baked bread.

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Does anybody else find it a little strange that salads are generally at their best when their creator has played a little loose and fast with the definition of the term? A salad is fairly stringently defined as something made with raw vegetables, though the Americans would have it that tuna mixed with mayonnaise should be described as a salad. Yet, there have been countless instances, this being one of them, where there is no better word to describe what one is eating. Perhaps the title of this recipe ought to be suffixed with the phrase, ‘for want of a better term’.

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