Posted by: Hil | November 9, 2009

Barley Risotto


When the Lemonator makes noises of delight and demands seconds of a dish of whole grains, you know you have a winner.  I will try to get a better picture of this the next time I make it, but please believe me that it is delicious.  The barley grains are just slightly chewy and create a nice thick sauce.  It’s a very inexpensive and filling dinner, and it has more fiber and nutrients than a standard risotto. 

This version is a very simple herb risotto, but I’m sure you could use ingredients from any standard risotto recipe.  I am dying to try a mushroom risotto with barley, but the Lemonator is resisting.  I bet a squash or pumpkin risotto would be to die for.


  • 1/2 cup pearled barley
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or grated
  • fresh or dried sage, rosemary, and thyme
  • olive oil
  • Pat of butter
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock (or a mixture of stock and white wine or lemon juice)
  • kettle of hot water
  • salt and pepper to taste


1.  Put the stock and wine in a small saucepan and heat it to boiling, then lower the heat to a simmer.  

2.  Saute the onion in olive oil until it is translucent.   Add the garlic and half of the herbs (reserve some for garnish) and cook until fragrant.  Stir in the barley.

3.  Gradually begin adding the hot stock/wine mixture to the barley, adding more whenever the barley has absorbed most of the liquid.  When you run out of stock, use water instead.  Continue until the barley is cooked but not mushy and suspended in thick sauce.  Season with salt and pepper.  Finish with a pat of butter.  The risotto should be creamy in texture before you add the butter, but the butter adds amazing flavor and mouthfeel.  Serve hot and garnish with the rest of the minced herbs.  Enjoy!




  1. I have a box of barley in my pantry that is just begging to be made into this deliciousness. That looks great.

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