Barley & broad bean risotto

Barley & broad bean risotto

Swap rice for pearl barley to make this broad bean risotto with ricotta and herbs. It's easy to prepare and makes an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour.


Prep: 25 mins Cook: 45 mins

Serves 2

  • fat 24g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 78g
  • sugars 6g
  • fibre 13g
  • protein 28g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 2 tbsp olive oil Olive oil ol-iv oylProbably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped Onion un-yunOnions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 700-800ml hot vegetable stock
  • 250g frozen broad beans, podded, defrosted Broad bean braw-d be-enA member of the legume family, broad beans are pretty hardy and adaptable - they grow in most…
  • 1 lemon, zested Lemon le-monOval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint, plus extra to serve Mint mi-ntThere are several types of mint, each with its own subtle difference in flavour and appearance.…
  • 3 tbsp ricotta Ricotta ree-cot-aRicotta is an Italian cheese made from whey and traditionally a by-product of…
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped basil Basil ba-zilMost closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…
  • 2 tbsp parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated, plus extra to serve Parmesan parm-ee-zanParmesan is a straw-coloured hard cheese with a natural yellow rind and rich, fruity flavour. It…


Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion along with a pinch of salt and gently fry for 8-10 mins or until softened. Stir through the garlic and cook for 1 min. Tip in the pearl barley and 600ml of the stock. Bring to the boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 35 mins, stirring regularly, until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed and the pearl barley is tender. Add the remaining stock, a splash at a time, to loosen if it looks too thick.

Roughly chop half of the podded broad beans (or pulse a few times in a food processor), keeping the rest whole. Stir all the broad beans into the risotto along with the lemon zest, mint, ricotta, basil and parmesan (with a splash more stock or water if it looks dry). Season, then serve in bowls with extra mint and parmesan scattered over.

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