Barley Risotto

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2019 Mar/Apr

Barley makes a delicious base for risotto, which is not quite as creamy, and more substantial than the traditional short grain rice variety. Feel free to play around with it, adding whatever ingredients are in season or suit your taste


  • olive or canola oil, for cooking
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 t. grated lemon zest
  • salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 c. pearl or pot barley
  • 4 c. low sodium chicken stock
  • 250 g. peeled and deveined raw shrimp
  • 3/4 c. fresh or frozen peas
  • fresh parsley or pea shoots, for garnish


Heat the oil in a large saucepan set over medium-high heat; add the onion, garlic, lemon zest, and pepper, and sauté until the onion is softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in barley and stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat; cover pan and simmer for 45 minutes, stirring vigorously halfway through for 15 seconds. Stir in shrimp and peas; cover pan and simmer until shrimp are pink and peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley or mint and serve.

Serves 6.