Pearl Barley Risotto

January 6, 2017

As meat lovers, and we know most Rugby Players are, I used to turn my nose up at ‘veggie’ dishes, but do not be put off by this. One of the hardest things when creating meatless dishes is ensuring you still manage to get a high level of protein in there. This dish does just that. There is 20g protein with each serving.


- 500ml vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 10g teaspoon thyme
- 40ml cup white wine
- 170g pearl barley
- 170g beans precooked (white would be good)
- 430g chopped baby gem
- 40g freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- Salt and freshly ground pepper


1. In a medium saucepan, bring the veg stock to a simmer over moderately high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep warm.
2. In a large dry deep pan heat the olive oil. Add the onion and thyme and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 6 minutes.
3. Add the barley and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring until absorbed, about one minute. Add 1 cup of the warm stock and cook, stirring, until nearly absorbed.
4. Continue adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time in six additions — you’ll have a cup of stock left in the pot — stirring until it is nearly absorbed between additions.
5. Most barley risottos are done when the barley is al dente and suspended in a thick, creamy sauce, about 35 minutes, adding another half to one cup of stock. (This gives the beans something to drink up, and you a margin of error if you grains continue to absorb the stock once you think they are done.)
6. Stir it in until the risotto is on the loose side, then add the beans and let them cook for a minute.
7. Add the baby gem and let it wilt and then cook for an additional minute.
8. Finally, stir in the 40g of Parmigiano-Reggiano and the butter and season with salt and pepper. And enjoy

Let us know what you think! In our opinion, it certainly does the job!

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