Herb Barley Risotto

This Herb Barley Risotto recipe is comforting and simple. We instantly fell in love with this dish; the kids too! 

The cilantro and oregano flavors are subtle so you can easily pair it with roasted chicken or grilled meats and the Parmesan cheese awakens the umami we all crave. It can be a great side dish or a warm hugging bowl of deliciousness by itself.

Barley is one of the oldest-known staple foods, it's a great source of fiber. This recipe calls for pearled barley; it gives this risotto a nice texture and a hint of sweetness. It makes a great alternative to rice or potato sides.




Recipe Credits: Rafaella Sargi
Serves 4

1 litre chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, minced
2 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon oregano
1 cup pearl barley
¾ cup white wine
2 handfuls of grated Parmesan cheese
Extra virgin olive oil
Fresh cilantro leaves 

Scale and prep all the ingredients.
You will need one small pot and a large pan with a lid.

Pour the chicken broth in a small pot and heat it up. When heated through, lower the stove temperature to medium low and keep the broth warm while cooking the risotto.

In a large pan, heat the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and shallots and cook over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes. Add ½ teaspoon of salt and few mill cracks of black pepper, the barley, cilantro and oregano. Mix well and let it cook for a couple of minutes until the barley is heated through and starts to toast. Lower the heat to medium-low and pour the wine. Mix very well and let it cook slowly until the liquid is totally absorbed. Add one cup of the warm broth and mix again often until the broth is absorbed. Repeat this step a few times, mixing regularly. When you pour the last cup of broth, stir well and cover the pot. Let it finish cooking covered. Check for doneness after approximately 8 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat when the barley is completely cooked and all the liquid has been absorbed. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese. Drizzle with a touch of extra virgin olive oil. Serve the risotto immediately with a few fresh cilantro leaves.

It makes a great side dish for oven roasted chicken or grilled meat.


*Recipe published in Taste & Flavors Magazine. Winter 2015.