Pearl Barley Risotto Recipe

(52 ratings)

Photo of Pearl Barley Risotto
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
Preparation Time25 mins including soaking
Cooking Time45 mins
Total Time1 hours 10 mins

This risotto recipe is really quick to throw together, vegetarian friendly and packed with nutrients, so it's a great one to try for a healthy week night dinner.


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  • 30g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 750ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 200g pearl barley, washed and drained
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • juice of


  • /


  • lemon
  • 200ml white wine
  • sprig of fresh rosemary
  • 150g sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut diagonally into strips
  • knob of butter
  • 25g vegetarian Parmesan-style cheese, grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan, then add the onion and leek and cook over a medium heat for 10 minutes, or util soft.
  2. Strain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop finely. Add to the vegetables along with the pearl barley, then turn up the heat, season well and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the lemon juice, white wine and rosemary sprig to the pan, season well, stir and allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Now start to add the mushroom liquid about a ladleful at a time. Turn the heat down but make sure the mixture is simmering gently at all times. Keep stirring occasionally and adding mushroom liquid, so that the mixtyre does not stick to the pan. if you run out of mushroom liquid, use boiling water.
  4. After 20 minutes, when the barley is cooked but still has a chewy texture, add the sugar snaps, butter and half the parmesan. Remove from the heat and allow to stand for 5 minutes, then season well and serve with the remaining parmesan sprinkled over.