I’ve been feeling quite overloaded with sweets and rich food lately, so I decided to start eating a bit healthier (not to mention I’m going to New York City next week where I will no doubt eat my weight in food that is terrible of me!). One of my very favorite things to cook is risotto. Unfortunately, traditional risotto typically isn’t super healthy, so I decided to change it up a bit by substituting wheat berries for arborio rice, and skipping cheese or dairy (usually added to enhance creaminess) altogether.
This take on risotto turned out even better than I expected. I love the chewy texture the wheat berries lend, and the eggs add a richness and creaminess that ensure that the usual parmigiano reggiano and butter aren’t missed! The mushrooms acted almost like little sponges, and seemed to really have soaked up the flavor of the wine which was totally delicious. The peas and parsley brought in some freshness and brightness that made this a pretty perfectly balanced dish. This risotto was exactly what I was hoping it would be— ultra comforting.
If you wanted to make this meal vegetarian, you could use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. And then, if you leave off the egg, it’s completely vegan.
Wheat Berry Risotto with Mushrooms and Peas Topped with an Egg
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2-3 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup uncooked wheat berries
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 4-6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
- salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 4 eggs
- In a small sauce pan, heat the broth over medium-low heat.
- In a wide pot or saute pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add in the onions and mushrooms and sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Lower the heat to medium. Add in the wheat berries and cook for about 2 minutes. Pour in the wine and stir to deglaze the pan. Cook for another minute or so.
- Ladle in the broth a half a cup or a cup at a time. Stir until the broth is absorbed and add more until the wheat berries are done. (This should take about an hour or so.)
- Stir in the peas, and stir until cooked through. Stir in the parsley.
- Cook your eggs according to your desires (I made sunny-side up, but I think poached would be lovely as well).
- Top each portion with an egg (or two).