Thursday, August 11, 2011

Farmers' Market Barley Risotto

Here is another fun way to load up on all of the season's fresh produce -- a tender barley risotto, flavored with white wine and pecorino romano packed with corn, zucchini, and tomatoes.  Have you ever had a barley risotto before?  We love risotto and love barley, and so I think it's a natural for us.  I love trying barley outside of soup, and getting a good serving of whole grains in to our diets.  It takes a bit longer than arbrorio rice, but the texture is great!

Farmers' Market Barley Risotto
adapted from Betty Crocker Cookbook for Women
serves 4

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large zucchini, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels (or fresh, off the cob)
1 medium bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken stock
3 cups water
2 plum tomatoes, diced
1 cup grated pecorino romano
1 tsp dried basil (or 3 Tbsp fresh)
1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1. Over a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
2. Once the oil is warmed through (you will be able to smell its fruity fragrance, add the onion, pepper, corn, and zucchini.  Saute gently for five minutes, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.
3. Add the barley, and stir through.  Toast for one minute.
4. Stir in the wine and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock.  Cook five minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed.
5. Continue to add the broth, adding half of a cup each time the liquid is absorbed.  Stir now and then.  Once you've used up the stock, begin to add the water.
6. When there is just half a cup or so of water left, add the tomatoes.
7. Once all of the water is absorbed, and the barley is tender, creamy, and chewy, add the grated pecorino romano, the basil, and the pepper.  Remove from heat and serve.


  1. I love your story. That is just amazing. This looks so good. I can't remember if I have a bag of barley or bulgar in the kitchen but, I am going to go check!

  2. Barley is such a fabulous grain for risotto - I've actually had great luck cooking it in the slow cooker too!