Risotto is typically made with Arborio rice, but pearl barley is a good substitute; it produces a dish that is similar in texture but with a nuttier taste and more fiber.



Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • In a medium saucepan, bring broth and 4 cups water just to a simmer.

  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add barley; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Then add wine; cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 1 minute.

  • Add 2 cups hot broth mixture; simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Continue adding broth mixture in this manner until barley is tender and mixture is creamy, 40 to 50 minutes (you may not have to use all the broth). Add corn; cook just to heat through, 4 to 5 minutes.

  • Stir in basil and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, with extra cheese.


If you prefer, replace the corn with other cooked vegetables, such as peas, green beans, zucchini, or mushrooms.

Reviews (4)

14 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 5
  • 4 star values: 4
  • 3 star values: 4
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: Unrated
I made this as a side for dinner tonight. It. Was. Fantastic! And pretty simple to make! I was wondering what the calories are in one serving...?
Rating: 4 stars
Very good use of barley! Delicious!
Rating: Unrated
This recipe is amazing! I used frozen peas instead of corn (it was a recommended substitute in the Everyday Food Book) and it was perfection. Barley is a whole grain, i.e. even better for you than rice, so this is not only delicious, it is healthy!! FYI, I used a homemade meat chicken stock that provided great flavor. Two cups of basil is a lot, but it gives this dish incredible freshness. High marks!!
Rating: Unrated
A lighter version of risotto, especially when made with fresh corn off the cob! (I used 2 ears of fresh corn). Really simple to make, just takes time to stir so the barley can absorb the liquid. Used veg. broth (we're vegetarians), but iit is still very flavorful! I highly recommend!