This recipe is a creative and delicious blend of some of my favorite wholesome ingredients. Rainbow chard, while beautiful with it's rich, deep colors, is a delicious compliment to the hearty, slightly al dente pearl barley risotto. Chicken sausage, a staple in our refrigerator, seemed like a delicious match to this comforting, winter meal.
Heat a large pot over medium heat, and add 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the pearl barley, stirring to coat the grains with the olive oil. Saute for a minute, until the grains are slightly toasted in color.
Add the wine, and cook until most of the the liquid has been absorbed.
Add a couple ladles of the warm chicken stock, stirring occasionally and allowing the barley to cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to follow this same process, until you see that the barley takes on a creamy consistency and there is still a slight bite to the grains.
Saute the chopped garlic until soft, about 1 minute
Add the chopped rainbow chard, stirring the leaves with the sauteed garlic, and making sure the garlic does not burn. Sprinkle with salt and continue to cook until wilted.
Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Place chicken sausages on an aluminum foil-lined sheet pan. Cook until full heated through. Cut on the bias.
Combine the wilted rainbow chard and garlic in with the risotto.
Add the parmesan and stir until fully blended.
Pour into bowls and top with chicken sausage. Add more parmesan, salt and pepper, if desired.