Pearl Barley Risotto.

Recipe by Sophie Godwin
Serves 2

200g pearl barley
2 chicken breasts, diced
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1 glass of white wine
600ml quality chicken stock
2 tbsp of crème fraiche
Fresh parsley, roughly chopped
Zest and juice of half a lemon
Grated Parmesan and olive oil

Cook the shallots and garlic in olive oil over a medium heat for five minutes until soft. Stir in the pearl barley, fry for about a minute then add the wine. Stir well. Once the wine has evaporated, pour in the stock. The risotto will now simmer away quite happily for about half an hour and shouldn’t need stirring.

Now season the chicken with salt, pepper and lemon zest. Fry for a couple of minutes on each side. Once it’s seared squeeze over the lemon juice and add to the risotto. Stir and simmer for the remaining allotted time.

Once the barley is tender, remove from the heat, stir in the crème fraiche and parsley and season to taste. Serve topped with a generous amount of parmesan and cracked black pepper.

Photo and Cooking by Sophie Goodwin

Watercress Pesto.

Recipe by Matteo Bragazzi

1 decent bunch of watercress, stalks included
1 clove of garlic
1 tbsp toasted pine nuts
50-75ml quality extra virgin olive oil
50g grated parmesan

This recipe is very quick and easy – takes five minutes to make – and has a lot of flavour. It works well with most pasta, especially those with ridges or twists, but has a multitude of uses.

Place the watercress, garlic and pine nuts in a food processor or use a stick blender. Puree them lightly. Drizzle in the oil and puree in spurts until relatively smooth. Ensure all watercress stalks have been blended. Stir in the Parmesan and season, adding a squirt of lemon juice, but not too much. Stir straight into cooked and drained pasta.

To store, pour into a jar, float a layer of olive oil on top, cover and refrigerate for up to a week.