Sweet Potato-Barley Risotto with Garlic Kale
- 5 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
- Kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 shallot, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks
- 1 cup pearled barley
- 1 cup coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
- Black pepper
- 1 large bunch kale, thick stems discarded, chopped
- 1 olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, sliced
1. In a saucepan, bring the stock to a simmer and keep warm over low heat. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the kale. In a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter in the olive oil. Add the shallot and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and cook, stirring, until the shallot begins to soften, 2 minutes.
2. Add the sweet potatoes to the shallot, toss well, cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the sweet potato is almost tender, 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, boil the kale in the salted water until tender, 5 minutes. Drain the kale and dry out the pot. Add the oil and garlic to the pot and cook over medium heat until the garlic is fragrant and beginning to color, 2 minutes. Add the kale and toss over medium heat until well coated in the garlicky oil. Keep warm.
4. When the sweet potatoes are ready, add the barley and toss well. Ladle in a cup of hot stock and simmer rapidly, stirring, until thick. Repeat this process, simmering each cup of liquid until the mixture is thick and the barley is tender, about 25 minutes (you may not need all the stock).
5. Use a fork or potato masher to mash some (or all) of the sweet potatoes. Stir in the cheddar cheese. Mince some kale and stir into the risotto for children. Season adult portions with salt and pepper as needed and serve topped with the kale.