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Barley risotto with asparagus recipe

Barley risotto with asparagus recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Main course
  • Risotto
  • Asparagus risotto

This risotto made with barley and asparagus is a lovely alternative to the classic dish. However, adding finely grated Parmesan will make it taste just as creamy.

1 person made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed
  • 1 shallot, finely minced
  • 300g pearl barley
  • 125ml of white wine
  • 800ml of hot vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:20min ›Ready in:30min

  1. Preheat oven to 200 C / Gas 6. Line a baking tray with foil.
  2. Arrange asparagus spears in one layer on the lined tin. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over asparagus and season with salt; roast in preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until they are crispy around the edges but still have a bit of a bite. Slice into bite-size pieces and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, heat remaining tablespoon of oil in a pan over medium heat; add minced shallot and cook to soften, about 1 minute. Add the barley and stir to coat in oil. Stir in wine and let liquid evaporate. Start adding the hot vegetable stock, a ladle at a time, stirring constantly, until liquid has been absorbed each time. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Add roasted asparagus and stir to warm through. Add grated Parmesan; stir risotto and leave to rest for 5 minutes. Serve with additional grated Parmesan cheese.

Parmesan cheese:

Parmesan cheese is not truly vegetarian, as it contains animal rennet. To make this dish 100% vegetarian, omit the cheese or find a suitable vegetarian substitute made without animal rennet. In supermarkets look for the 'parmesan style hard cheeses' which are suitable for vegetarians.

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Toasted Barley and Asparagus "risotto"

Risotto, by definition, is made with rice. But other grains—like the barley in this main-course recipe—can be prepared in the same style with equally terrific results. Toasting the barley enhances its nutty flavor and keeps it from getting soft and mushy.

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  • 12 ounces asparagus
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, (white and light green parts), chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste

Snap off ends of asparagus stalks. Peel asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Steam until just tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.

Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan or in the microwave keep warm. Heat oil in a heavy, wide pan over medium heat. Add scallions and shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add barley and stir for 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 1 minute.

Add about 1/2 cup of the hot broth and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Continue cooking, adding enough broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and stirring frequently, until the barley is just tender and the mixture has a slightly saucy consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and the reserved asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Vegan Barley Asparagus Risotto with Peas

A tasty Vegan Pearl Barley Asparagus Risotto with Peas offers delicate flavors and a rich chewy texture. This recipe is Vegan & Dairy-Free.

We’ve eaten our share of asparagus this year, and although it is not our favorite vegetable, we keep sticking them in dishes, roasting them in the pan and just adding them everywhere!

If you are an asparagus lover, or simply want to eat a delicious and healthy meal, you cannot skip past this Vegan Barley Asparagus Risotto.

Why use pearl barley instead of rice

Besides the simple change of flavors, we often use pearl barley instead of rice in risottos because it offers a different texture and final taste of the dish. Nutritionally speaking there is no huge difference between the two ingredients, so if you do not have pearl barley at hand, you can easily substitute it with risotto rice (like arborio, st. Andrea,…). But barley is higher in protein and also richer in fiber, so it makes for a wholesome meal. Barley also contains gluten, so if you are eating gluten-free we recommend using rice instead.

How to make this Vegan Barley Asparagus Risotto

As with any risotto, making this dish is super simple! Divide the asparagus to stems and peaks. Chop the vegetables and fry them up in a pot, then add pearl barley and vegetable stock. Season to taste and let the risotto simmer away until the barley is cooked through, which should take about 25 minutes. Just before the risotto is done, toss in the asparagus peaks and peas and cook for another 5 minutes and you’re done!

We like to add a dollop of (vegan) butter and some parmesan cheese before serving, but you can totally skip that part.

Most helpful positive review

30min. It does take longer than 20 min for the barley to absorb all the broth. You don&apost want to rush the barley too much. The consistency, taste, and golden color are great. Read More

Most helpful critical review

30min. It does take longer than 20 min for the barley to absorb all the broth. You don&apost want to rush the barley too much. The consistency, taste, and golden color are great. Read More

4.5c chicken broth, and probably

2-3c vegetable broth. (3) I added

1 Tbsp of mascarpone cheese along with the knob of butter and parmesan at the end. (4) I skipped the dried thyme and black pepper, and didn&apost add salt at all (it didn&apost need it). My hubby and 5-year-old skipped the veggies (I kept them on the side), but the littlest one and I gobbled them up. It took me longer than 20 min to make (more like 1-1.5h). I started it out on low (after adding the initial 2 c of broth), but bumped the heat up to medium low after

30min on my husband&aposs suggestion. It helped. The barley was perfectly done at the end - slightly chewy, and a lovely caramel color. Read More

Butternut Squash Barley Risotto with Asparagus

Delicious and nutritious alternative to rice risotto. And vegetarian, to boot!


  • 1 cup Pearled Barley
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 whole Medium Onion, Chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic, Crushed
  • 4 cups Water
  • 10 whole Dried Morel Mushrooms (or Any Other Variety You Like)
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • ½ cups White Wine
  • 2 cups Cooked Butternut Squash
  • 1 bunch Asparagus Spears, Cut Into 2" Pieces
  • 1 whole Bay Leaf
  • Shredded Parmesan (or Other) Cheese For Garnish
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste


Heat a large saute pan on low, film with 1 tablespoon olive oil, add onions and slowly saute, stirring often, until lightly and uniformly browned, about 15 minutes. Add the crushed garlic and stir for 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Don’t let the garlic burn. Add the water, and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to get all the caramelization into the liquid. Add the dried mushrooms, 1 teaspoon salt and thyme. Keep over very low heat.

Add 3/4 cup of barley to a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven type of pan. Heat on medium to medium high and stir often until barley is slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Add the remaining 1/4 cup of barley and about 1 tablespoon of olive oil and stir to coat. Add the white wine (if using) and stir until liquid is mostly absorbed.

Begin adding heated broth mixture to the barley, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring often. Keep adding more as liquid is absorbed and gets thicker. Don’t worry about the mushrooms and onions, just add them along with the broth. Stir and add liquid, stir and add liquid. When you have only about 1 cup of broth left, add the butternut squash to the mixture in heaping spoonfuls, continuing to stir. Add the rest of the broth, taste and adjust seasoning. The whole process will take about 30 minutes. The barley will be chewy. You can cook it longer if you like it softer. If you find that you need more liquid to cook the barley or you want your risotto more liquid, add plain hot water 1/4 cup at a time until it is the consistency you prefer.

During the cooking time, steam or boil the asparagus and shock in cold water. You want the asparagus to retain a slight crunch and be bright green. Stir the asparagus into the finished risotto until warmed through. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil, topped with grated cheese and crusty bread on the side.

Pearl Barley Risotto with Spring Vegetables

This simple pearl barley risotto is full of fresh spring vegetables and flavours! It is easy to throw together and doesn’t require a lot of elbow grease, plus it’s lighter than the rice version. What’s not to love!


  • 2 Tablespoons Oil
  • 1 Large Leek, Sliced
  • 200 grams Dried Pearl Barley
  • 125 milliliters White Wine
  • 1-¼ liter Vegetable Stock
  • 100 grams Asparagus
  • 150 grams Peas, Fresh Or Frozen
  • 100 grams Spring Greens, Sliced
  • 20 grams Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 3 Tablespoons Chives, Chopped
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste


In a casserole pot, heat butter or oil over a medium heat. Sauté sliced leeks for 5 minutes until they have softened.

Add pearl barley to the pot and stir to combine. Pour in white wine and cook for around 5 minutes, until liquid has reduced and alcohol has cooked out.

Add vegetable stock to the pot. Stir everything to combine and leave to simmer for 35–40 minutes, stirring occasionally, until pearl barley is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. If mixture begins to dry out, add a little water. The final consistency should creamy and a little loose. If mixture is too wet, cook for a few more minutes until more of the liquid has evaporated.

Stir asparagus, peas and spring greens into risotto and cook for 3–4 minutes until asparagus is just tender.

Add Parmesan, lemon juice and chives. Stir to combine, then taste. Add salt and pepper as required. Serve in bowls with grated Parmesan and a sprinkle of chopped chives. Enjoy!

  • 5 tbsp. olive oil(divided)
  • 1/3 cup minced shallots or onions
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1-1/4 cups arborio rice
  • 3-3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat 3 tbsp.. of the olive oil and the shallots in a medium skillet, cooking until shallots are softened. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in rice.

Spray the Crockpot stoneware with cooking spray, or brush with oil. Transfer the rice mixture to the Crockpot and add the chicken broth and wine. Cover and cook on high 2 to 2-1/2 hours (check after 1 hr, 45 minutes), until liquid is mostly absorbed.

Preheat oven to 425 F. Wash and trim asparagus spears. Toss asparagus with remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a cutting board. Chop asparagus into bite-sized pieces. Add to risotto. Add parmesan cheese to risotto. Taste risotto, and season with salt and pepper, as needed.

For the sauce, add the woody ends of the asparagus stems to the chicken stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for another five minutes. Blend the mixture and pass through a sieve into a clean saucepan. Add the cream and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

For the pearl barley, melt the butter in a saucepan and fry the shallot for one minute without colouring. Add the pearly barley and cook for a further minute.

Add the wine to the mixture and bring to the boil, then add 325ml/11fl oz of the stock and return to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until all of the stock has been absorbed. Add another 325ml/11fl oz of stock and cook for a further 20-25 minutes, or until the barley is tender. (You may need to add a little more stock.)

Meanwhile, cut 4cm/1½in of the tips from the asparagus and set aside. Slice the remaining stems at an angle.

Cook the asparagus tips in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, drain and refresh in salted ice water then drain again.

Fry the bacon lardons in a frying pan for one minute, or until golden-brown

Stir the sliced asparagus stems into the barley and cook for a further 3-4 minutes. Stir in the bacon, broad beans, asparagus tips and tomatoes.

To serve, froth the sauce with a hand blender. Spoon the barley into deep serving bowls and pour over the sauce.


For the barley risotto:

Place the barley in a medium saucepan and pour over 7 cups of stock. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 30 to 35 minutes, uncovered, until cooked but still retaining a bite. Strain and set aside.

Wash out the saucepan and fill it with water. Bring to a boil, add the spinach, and blanch for 30 seconds, then use a slotted spoon to transfer the leaves to a colander. Rinse well under cold water — this will help prevent discoloration — then squeeze out the excess moisture and set aside. Keeping the pan of water on the boil, add the watercress and blanch for 30 seconds. Transfer to a colander, rinse under cold water, and squeeze out the excess moisture. Add to the spinach leaves, coarsely chop, and set aside.

Wipe out the saucepan and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, along with the undiced butter. Place over medium heat, add the shallots and garlic, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes, stirring often, until soft but taking on no color. Add the thyme and bay leaf, pour over 2 cups of stock and bring to a boil over high heat. Cook for 10 minutes, for the stock to reduce down to a quarter, so that you have about 3 1/2 tablespoons left in the pan. Add the spinach and watercress leaves and cook for a final 2 minutes. Remove from the heat, lift out and discard the bay leaf and thyme, then, while still hot, carefully transfer to a blender with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Turn on the blender and blitz, adding the diced butter a few cubes at a time, waiting until one batch has been incorporated before adding the next. Set aside.

Put 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan and place over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for 3 minutes, until softened but not colored. Remove the mushrooms, along with any liquid in the pan, and set aside. Return the large sauté pan to medium-high heat with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the leek and cook for 3 minutes, until softened but having taken on no color. Leave in the pan and set aside.

Watch the video: Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Lemon recipe. Morrisons (January 2022).