Showing Chives, Sliced Mushrooms, Parmigiano for Barley Risotto

Barley Risotto

There’s something so yummy and comforting about barley no matter how it’s cooked! A couple of months ago at a restaurant in London, I had a “rice” pudding made with barley instead of rice. It was wonderful! I could eat it every day for breakfast but it would be a guilty pleasure if I did. My first chives come up in March, perfect for this risotto, although I’ll have to buy fresh basil until later in the year.

Makes 6 First Course Servings

6 ½ cups low-salt chicken broth or homemade stock  (see below)
6 Tbsp. unsalted “European” style butter (cultured unsalted butter)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
2 cups pearl barley, rinsed & drained
6 oz. brown mushrooms, cleaned, trimmed & sliced
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Freshly ground black pepper

Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm. Melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion ; sauté until tender, about 6 minutes; add the garlic and sauté for a minute further. Add the barley; stir until coated with butter, about 1 minute. Add ½ cup broth; simmer, stirring often, until broth is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Add remaining broth ½ cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until barley is tender but still firm to the bite and risotto is creamy, about 45 minutes.

Place serving bowls in a preheated 180 F oven to warm.

Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp. butter in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the mushrooms, Parmigiano, herbs and remaining 2 Tbsp. butter to risotto; stir to combine; season to taste with salt and pepper. Place into warmed, individual serving bowls and serve.

Helpful link for Making Stock.


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