Wheat Berry Risotto with Mushrooms, Roasted Vegetables and Hazelnuts
- 1 cup (200 g) wheat berries (see note)
- Water, for soaking
- 4 cloves garlic, halved
- 3 tbsp (45 ml) olive oil
- 4 onions, finely chopped
- 1/2 lb (225 g) white mushrooms, halved
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) red wine
- 4 cups (1 litre) water
- Salt and pepper
- 12 small carrots of various colours, peeled
- 1 acorn squash, skin on, seeded and cut into thin wedges
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
- 6 oz (170 g) oyster mushrooms, trimmed
- 1 shallot, chopped
- 1/4 cup (11 g) flat-leaf parsley leaves
- 1/2 cup (50 g) roasted hazelnuts, chopped
- In a large bowl, place the wheat berries. Cover with water and let soak for 12 hours (or overnight) at room temperature. Add water, if needed, to make sure the grains are always well covered. Rinse and drain.
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, brown the garlic in the oil. Add the onions and mushrooms. Cook, stirring frequently, until well caramelized. Season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the saucepan with the wine and reduce until almost dry. Add the water and wheat. Cover and cook for 1 hour. Uncover and cook for another 30 minutes, or until the liquid is entirely absorbed and the wheat is cooked but still slightly firm to the tooth. Adjust the seasoning.
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 425°F (210°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- On the baking sheet, coat the carrots and squash with 2 tbsp (30 ml) of the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a sheet of aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, stir the vegetables and bake for another 15 minutes or until the vegetables are well roasted. Keep warm.
- In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, brown the oyster mushrooms in the remaining oil (2 tbsp/30 ml). Add the shallot and cook for 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Onto 4 serving plates, divide the risotto. Top with the roasted vegetables and the oyster mushrooms. Garnish with the parsley and hazelnuts.
A wheat berry is actually an entire wheat kernel (minus the hull). You can buy wheat berries at select grocery stores (usually placed with the other grains) or in natural-food stores. Soaking the berries reduces the cooking time.