Vegetable barley risotto

Barley and millet make great fibre-rich risotto rice alternatives.

Less than 45 minutes

Serves 3-4

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  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil

  • onion, chopped

  • leeks, washed and sliced

  • carrots, chopped 

  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped

  • bay leaves

  • Handful fresh thyme

  • 1 cup (250ml) dried barley

  • ⅓ cup (80ml) white wine (optional)

  • 6 cups (1.5L) hot vegetable stock

  • Salt and milled pepper

  • ½ cup (125ml) cream

  • ⅓ cup (80ml) grated parmesan + extra for serving

  • 2 Tbsp (30ml) butter

  • 1 punnet (250g) exotic mushrooms, sliced

  • 1 punnet (200g) vine tomatoes

  • 3 Tbsp (45ml) chopped parsley

  • Fresh herbs, for serving


  1. Heat oil in a large pan or pot and fry onion, leeks, carrots and garlic for 3-5 minutes.

  2. Add bay leaves, thyme and barley and cook for about 2-3 minutes.

  3. Add wine (if using) and cook, while stirring, for 3-4 minutes.

  4. Add about ⅓ cup (80ml) of stock at a time, allowing it to fully absorb before pouring in the next addition.

  5. Stir continuously for 25-30 minutes over a medium-low heat.

  6. Remove and discard bay leaves and thyme stalks.

  7. Season and stir through cream and parmesan.

  8. Heat butter in a separate pan and fry mushrooms and tomatoes for a minute or until golden and blistered.

  9. Stir mushrooms, tomatoes and parsley through risotto.

  10. Serve garnished with fresh herbs and extra grated parmesan.


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