Pearl Barley Risotto

Pearl Barley Risotto with local mushrooms 

This is a quick, cheap and super tasty crowd pleaser. I usually make a big batch as it is even nicer heated up a few days after. You can adapt this to include any seasonal veg you have around.


Ingredients (serves 1)

Local mushrooms 50g, cleaned and sliced

olive oil

onion ½, finely diced

thyme chopped to make 1 tsp

garlic 1 clove, crushed

pearl barley 50g (soaked in water for as long as possible to speed up cooking)

vegetable stock cube in 400ml hot water (I use a low salt and gluten free option)

spinach 100g

soft cheese 2 tbsp or 2 heaped tbsp of grated parmasean (leave out to make it Vegan)


2 heaped tbsp of Activated Yeast (for added B vitamins and flavour)

2 handfuls of peas or any other vegetable



Fry the onions and garlic in a pan with some oil.

Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until golden and set aside.

Add the pearl barley to another pan with the stock, stirring as you go.

Simmer for 25-30 min, stirring occasionally until the pearl barley is tender, adding more stock if needed.

Then add in the mushrooms/onions/thyme mix along with fresh spinach, cheese, activated yeast and any other vegetables, stirring well.

Once it’s all mixed and heated nicely serve.


It really is that simple. The pearl barely adds a lovely texture and it’s good to mix up your whole grains for the most amount of diversity and nutrient density.

Dietary Information:

Naturally Gluten Free


Vegan if you use activated yeast instead of soft cheese

Garlic, thyme, spinach, peas are all immune boosting foods

Pearl Barley contains lots of B vitamins as well as some Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Selenium.


Categories: Food