Barley, Kale, and Onion Risotto & Celebrity Sightings

Feb 24, 2012

Do you ever have days in which everyone you see resembles someone you know?  Half of my time is spent bumping into people now and at least half of the time I have no idea how I know them.  There are too many options now – did we go to high school together? Graduate school?  Did we date? Did I sit next to you on an Amtrak going to that writing conference?  Did our kids take pottery class together six years ago? Are you a fan? Another writer?  Are we married?

The list goes on.

But every now and then, all falls into place, strangers don’t look familiar and I recognize those I’m meant to.

And then, every so often, I’m in an antique store checking out a tiny painting that I’m sure I can get for a song and the voice inquiring about the massive work of art above my head sounds familiar.  Sounds like it’s read me a story.  Or rescued me from evil.  Or something.  And when I look and see the face all I think is – Did our kids go to preschool together?  Did you used to have cook-outs with my parents?  No.  No…that’s not right.  And then the smile and I go back to my little art piece which turns out to be an opera, not a song, so I can’t even begin to buy it.  But the voice and the laugh, the lulling tones.  I look again.  Yes, you taught me in college.  Poetry?  Then why the visions of you in a robe?  Good lord, tell me we didn’t make out.

No.  We didn’t. I could not have kissed someone who…carried a sword?  That lights up?


You are Hands Solo.  Harrison Ford.

And I need to get some sleep.

Barley, Kale, and Onion Risotto

2 bunches lacinto kale

2 cups barley

1 large onion, diced

2 tbsp olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

10 cups vegetable stock, very hot

1/3 - 1/2 cup shredded parmesan

salt and pepper to taste

Remove center ribs from kale, rinse in colander. Cut kale into irregular bits by running knife through the piles in the colander or tearing into bits. Place barley and onion in heavy-bottomed pot. Drizzle olive oil on top and heat on medium, turning with wooden spoon to coat with oil. When onion is translucent, add white wine. Stir and let wine absorb completely. Add 1 cup stock and stir, letting liquid absorb. Continue this process, cup by cup, until barley is cooked but al dente, so it still has bite. At about cup 8, add kale, cover to wilt, and stir it into barley mix. Add some of the parmesan and stir. Scoop into bowls or plate and add a bit more shredded cheese to top. Serve hot alongside tomato and red onion salad or on top of crusty, buttered bread, or on its own.

1 comment

  1. Celia
    February 25, 2012

    I’m sure your barley risotto, which looks most fine, will cure brain fog. 🙂 It once took me ages to realise that someone I met at a party years later used to catch the same bus to work as I did…