Spring Barley Risotto

Prep Time:
40 mins
Total Time:
40 mins

A healthier alternative to the more traditional arborio risotto rice, barley adds iron and fiber to this fresh take on risotto. One cup of the green peas found in this dish offers more protein than a large egg.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup pearled barley

  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced

  • ½ cup dry white wine, or water

  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

  • 14 ½ ounces vegetable broth

  • 1 bunch asparagus (about 1 pound), trimmed and cut on bias into 2-inch pieces

  • 1 box (10 ounces) frozen peas, defrosted

  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan

  • ¼ cup thinly sliced mint leaves, plus small leaves for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium. Add barley and leeks; cook until beginning to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine; cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add 2 cups water; bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat; simmer until liquid absorbs, about 10 minutes.

  2. Add broth and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender and creamy, about 10 minutes. Add asparagus; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in peas until heated through. Add Parmesan and mint; season with salt and pepper. Garnish with mint leaves.

Related Articles