Pearl Barley And Mushroom Risotto Recipe

(82 ratings)

Pearl Barley and Mushroom Risotto
Total Time45 mins

If you want a risotto recipe that’s lighter than your usual dish, give this pearly barley and mushroom recipe a go this week.

Pearl Barley has a low Glycemic Index, which means that the grain doesn’t cause a rapid rise in blood sugar levels and will therefore keep you feeling energized for longer. It’s also a great source of dietary fibre, copper and vitamin B1.

Mushrooms are also great for you thanks to the vegetable being a great source of antioxidants, protein and vitamin C, as well as iron.

This tasty risotto dish is really quick to make and will feed the whole family, so it’s a great quick week night dinner choice.



  1. Soak the dried porcini in 200ml hot water and set aside. Heat half the oil in a sauté pan and gently cook the shallots with a good pinch of salt until tender but not browned. Meanwhile, drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking water. Stir the porcini into the shallots and cook for a few minutes. Add the pearl barley, stir then add the white wine and let it bubble for a few minutes.
  2. Now add the mushroom liquid and half the stock. Bring to the boil then simmer gently, stirring occasionally. As the stock reduces, add more. In the meantime, sauté off the button mushrooms in the remaining oil until cooked. Once the pearl barley is tender, stir in the button mushrooms and serve.


  • 25g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 2 banana shallots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 150g pearl barley
  • splash of white wine or vermouth
  • 500ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 200g button chestnut mushrooms, halved
Jane Curran

Jane Curran is a freelance food editor, stylist, writer and consultant based in Cape Town. Former food director of TI Media & woman&home. All about food, wine (dipWSET), gardening and the Arsenal.