Make baked kale barley pesto in the oven and you’ll never stir risotto on the stove, the traditional way, ever again. Kale pesto gives this vegetarian recipe lots of flavor.
2 garlic cloves, peeled
3 cups torn curly kale
1/3 cup roughly chopped walnuts
1/4 cup grated Parmesan plus shaved Parmesan for serving
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper plus more for serving
1/3 + 1 tablespoon cup olive oil
1 small white onion, roughly chopped
1 cup pearl barley
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups vegetable stock
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Finely chop the garlic in a food processor. Add 1 cup kale, walnuts, 1/4 cup Parmesan, salt and pepper and process into a paste. While the food processor is running, pour 1/3 cup olive oil through the feeder tube until combined.
In a large ovenproof saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the onions until soft and translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
Add the barley and cook for 1 minute until opaque. Pour in the wine, letting it bubble and be absorbed by the barley. Stir in 1/3 cup kale pesto.
Add the stock and bring to a boil. Cover the saucepan with a lid and transfer to the oven.
Bake for 30-35 minutes until the barley is tender. Stir in the remaining chopped kale leaves letting them wilt. Stir in the rest of the kale pesto.
Sprinkle with black pepper and shaved Parmesan before serving.