Pearled barley yields a creamy, toothsome risotto. And here’s your language lesson for the day: The Italian word for barley is orzo (not to be confused with the rice-shaped pasta of the same name), and risotto made with barley is called orzotto. Yes, we probably should call this orzotto, but most people will think of this as risotto. In any case, it’s delicious by any name. This recipe also would be tasty with pearled farro (labeled farro perlato) if you find it at gourmet markets, in which case, this would be farrotto.
I’ve made this dish successfully with all kinds of greens, but I like tender baby spinach and bok choy derivatives the best. Keep in mind that you want a touch of water clinging to the greens, but not so much that they’ll swim when they’re wilting. Note: If choosing tough-stemmed greens like chard or beet greens, slice the stems into 1-inch lengths.