5-ingredient barley risotto

Don’t have arborio rice for risotto? No problem, pearl barley will work (and so will millet)!

Less than 45 minutes

Serves 4

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  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) butter
  • 1 cup (200g) pearl barley
  • 3 cups (750ml) water or stock
  • ½ cup (60ml) grated parmesan
  • Handful fresh herbs, chopped (we used coriander and parsley)
  • 1 cup (250ml) cream (optional)
  • Salt and milled pepper
  • 1 punnet (250g) cherry tomatoes, blistered
  • 1 packet (200g) streaky bacon or parma ham, cooked until crispy (optional)


  1. Heat butter in a large pot and sauté barley for 3-5 minutes.
  2. Add ½ cup (125ml) water or stock and cook barley, stirring constantly, for 5-8 minutes until liquid evaporates.
  3. Add remaining water or stock, simmer gently for 20 minutes and stir regularly until barley is cooked through.
  4. Stir through parmesan, herbs and cream, if using. Season well.
  5. Serve risotto with blistered tomatoes and crispy bacon/ham, if you like.


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