Italian Inspired Green Lentil and Pearl Barley Risotto

I’ve been reading and paying attention to many of the comments left on my current giveaway about what you would like to see more of on the blog.  Thank you so much for your lovely comments they have been very insightful.  A lot of you have suggested that you would like to see more recipes so I have one that I promised write up a little while ago.  It seems even more perfect to write up this Italian inspired recipe now since only getting back from Florence a few days ago.

Pearl Barley is such an amazing cereal grain with an amazing nutritional value acting as a great source of dietary fibre and selenium.  This delicious grain lends it’s nutty flavour successfully to soups, casseroles, stews, salads.  It’s just a great all round grain.  It’s also really cheap.  I picked up a bag the other week for 39p-go figure

The best thing for me about pearl barley is just how versatile it is and works as a side dish by itself or mixed with legumes and vegetables. It works really well with green lentils as in my Pearl Barley and Green Lentil Pilaf and now in this super tasty risotto dish…

*Italian Inspired Green Lentil and Pearl Barley Risotto*

Ingredients (vegetarian serves 3-4)

  • 2 cups of pearl barley
  • 1 can of green lentils
  • 1 white onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic grated
  • 1/2 cup of broad beans
  • 1/3 cup of chestnut mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup of sliced courgette
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1/3 cup of mixed olives
  • 1/8 cup of sun blush tomatoes
  • 2 tsps of dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsps of balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsps of nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 tbsps of tomato puree
  • vegetable stock
  • seasonings to taste

First in a large pan start to sweat down the onions until soft and almost transparent and then add the grated garlic minding not to burn it.  Pour the pearl barley into the same pan and cook for a few minutes until the husk on the grain begins to turn white.  Pour in enough stock just to cover the pearl barley and continue to stir.  The pearl barley will eventually absorb all of the stock.  Next add in the courgettes, celery, mushrooms and broad beans and continue to stir. Keep adding the stock and allowing the pearl barley to absorb the liquid each time before adding more-just like a traditional risotto.

When the pearl barley is half way cooked add in the mixed herbs, tomato puree, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast and seasonings.  Near the end point of the pearl barley’s cooking time (15-20 minutes from the start) stir in the green lentils, olives and sun blushed tomatoes just to warm through. 

Serve up and enjoy! 🙂

What is your all time favourite grain?

Do grains make a regular appearance in your diet?



Filed under Recipes

13 responses to “Italian Inspired Green Lentil and Pearl Barley Risotto

  1. This looks lovely but i would have to leave out the olives, i just can’t make myself like them! 🙂

  2. That looks seriously amazing. One of the best risottos I’ve ever seen. Yum, I’d also have to disagree with the above comment – I realise the issue of loving or hating olives is entirely subjective, but I luv em’.

  3. Oh my gosh seriously I wish I had the ingredients for this right now…YUM!
    I have to vote for oats as my favourite grain…no surprises there!! 😀

  4. Lenna (veganlenna)

    I eat grains daily, I love them all, but especially millet and buckwheat groats. But oats aren´t bad either 🙂
    I love your recipe, I haven´t had pearl barley yet, but I´d love to try it.

  5. Girl I love me some grains! Oatmeal is definitely my favorite one, but I love quinoa, rice, buckwheat, and bulgur as well. I donno how people can go even a day without grains – they’re just too good.

  6. Barley is one of my favourites, it’s got such a great chew and flavour, and I love how creamy it gets in a risotto. I used to be scared of carbs! I’d only eat them once a day, so glad I got out of that phase.

  7. vivoir

    I’m with Amanda @ Running with Spoons… oats. So, so versatile. And portable! I like them mashed with pulses and dry fried into patties, mixed with flour and made into chapattis, dry (yes!), as a muesli base, mixed with mashed banana and baked into flapjacks… endless ideas!

  8. Mmm grains… I went so long without them during the worst days of my disordered eating… no more of that nonsense! I do love oats now, a favorite 🙂
    I have never tried making risotto, but may attempt it with this recipe! Thanks lady

  9. I love grains, and have been using them a lot lately! Pearly Barley is so comforting!

  10. Oh I love risotto but rarely have it cause of it usually made with the white rice grain. My favourite grain is quinoa. Thanks for the recipe will defintly be trying this one out:)

  11. I love pretty much all grains. This dish looks wonderful 🙂 I must make something similar soon 🙂

  12. I tried lentils for the first time on saturday-loved them!

    this looks delicious 😀

  13. Ohh yum I love olives! This looks perfect for a hot day like today!


All of your comments make me smile :-)

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