Barley Risotto


Barley Risotto

Barley is cooked in white wine to give it an Arborio rice consistency and flavor, while either squash or sweet potato can be roasted for sweet but hearty nuggets cooked right in. Salty Parmesan cheese, tart balsamic vinegar and fresh herbs continue the dish’s contrast of strong flavors to complete this crowd pleaser. This recipe comes to us from Jen of JenMenke.com.

Serves 6

For the barley:

  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 teaspoons salt

To complete the Barley Risotto:

  • 2 sweet potato*, cubed and roasted
  • or
  • 2 cups butternut squash*, cubed and roasted
  • a little olive oil, for preparing the veggies and sauté pan
  • 4 small shallots, chopped
  • or
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons fresh sage, slivered
  • or
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • or
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped

*To roast the sweet potatoes or butternut squash cubes, preheat an oven to 400 degrees. Toss the cubes with a light coating of olive oil and spread in one even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 25-35 minutes, rotating and flipping with a spatula every 10 minutes, or until its flesh is tender when pierced with a fork.

To cook the barley:

With a pressure cooker: Place the barley, water, wine and salt in pressure cooker for 15-20 minutes, or until the barley is cooked through. Drain and retain the cooking liquid. Test for doneness. Cook longer if too firm. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid.

Without a pressure cooker: Bring the water, wine and salt to a simmer in a pot over medium-low heat. Add the barley, stirring frequently, and cook for an hour, or until the barley is cooked through.

To complete the Barley Risotto:

Place a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a little olive oil, the chopped shallots or onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to soften and become fragrant.

Add the white wine and cook for about 3 minutes, or until the wine has reduced slightly. Pour the barley and its cooking liquid into the pan.

Add the cooked sweet potato or squash. If you didn’t use the pressure cooker, additional stirring is needed to incorporate fully. Add additional water to bring the risotto to preferred consistency.

Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and balsamic vinegar and top with fresh sage or rosemary or thyme. Enjoy!

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Nutrition Information

Barley Risotto

Servings per Recipe: 6

Amount per Serving

Calories:  218.6

Calories from Fat:  29

Total Fat:  3.2g

Saturated Fat:  1.6g

Cholesterol:  7.3mg

Sodium:  914.5mg

Potassium:  384mg

Carbohydrates:  31.9g

Dietary Fiber:  6.7g

Protein:  7.7g

Sugars:  2.6g

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