Risotto-Style Barley with Kale, Goat Cheese and Parmesan

barley risotto

Here is yet another recipe from my new favorite cookbook (though I really can't pick a favorite but easily become obsessed with my newest acquisitions). Completely vegetarian, with gorgeous photos accompanying mostly all of the recipes, veggie lovers will certainly want to obtain a copy of this comprehensive book. River Cottage Everyday Veg by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall will please the palates of vegetarians, vegans and carnivores alike. Each chapter has a charming introduction and the recipes included are not strictly comprised of just vegetables. Cheese is included in many of the dishes, and legumes, pasta and breads and mini bites are also featured.

Risotto type dishes such as this have always been comfort food for me. Though they take a bit of time to make because you have to make sure to add the broth a bit at a time and stir, it is well worth the effort.

Hint: save rinds from blocks of Parmesan cheese and add them to your stocks and soups and remove when the dish is done. I added a rind to my stock and cheated and used some veggie cubes free of artificial additives. Serve with black-eyed pea soup with tomatoes, and you are in for one satisfying and nourishing meal.

Risotto-Style Barley with Kale, Goat Cheese and ParmesanRisotto-Style Barley with Kale, Goat Cheese and Parmesan
Recipe by
Adapted from River Cottage Everyday Veg
Published on January 23, 2012

A charming, earthy and wholesome seasoned barley risotto cooked with kale and Parmesan and dressed with rounds of creamy goat cheese

Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes

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  • 4 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed or minced
  • a few sprigs of fresh thyme leaves, trimmed and finely chopped
  • 2 medium leeks, trimmed and sliced
  • 1/3 lb (150 g) kale, trimmed and roughly cut
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
  • a few slices of soft unripened goat cheese for garnishing each bowl
  • sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
  • Heat the stock or water with some salt in a medium saucepan and simmer over low heat.

  • In a large saucepan, heat half of the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, garlic and thyme, and stir occasionally until the onion is softened.

  • Add the barley and stir for a minute or so. Now add the wine and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Gradually add a ladleful of the stock, and stir until each addition is absorbed. Repeat until the barley is al dente. This should take about 20 to 25 minutes.

  • Meanwhile, heat the rest of the butter and another tablespoon of oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and when hot, add the leeks and stir and fry until tender. In a medium saucepan, heat some water over medium heat and add the kale. Simmer until the kale is slightly wilted. Drain off excess liquid.

  • When the barley is done, stir in the leeks and kale and grated Parmesan cheese. Add more salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste and a bit more oil.

  • Serve in bowls, topped with a few slices of goat cheese.

Makes 4 to 5 servings

Risotto-Style Barley with Kale, Goat Cheese and Parmesan

Other risotto dishes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Spicy Adzuki Bean Risotto
Lemon Risotto with Leeks and Mushrooms
Baked Mushroom Risotto

On the top of the reading stack: The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje

Audio Accompaniment: rain and wind


Priya Suresh said...

Mouthwatering here, wat a terrific and super tempting dish..

MapMaster said...

Love the pearl barley.

Johanna GGG said...

looks delicious - I am very fickle at which cookbook is favourite but have found myself delving into old ones and ignoring new ones lately!

Simona Carini said...

A nice idea to use the kale from my garden. I like those slices of goat cheese.

Rita said...

Love that you combined 2 of my favourite things and came up with this winner. Never thought of using barley to make risotto, but what a great idea.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

I do love a good risotto Lisa and this one is healthified with barley and luscious, creamy goat cheese.

Aarthi said...

yummy mouthwaering risotto

Hannah said...

SO good to see that my favourite recipe book is being used outside of the UK! He did an accompanying TV series over here too which was great. I just love it, I'm always picking it up and spotting something I didn't appreciate before and I'm so keen to try them all!
Since recieving the book for christmas I have been trying them, and now the barley-otto is definitely on my list!
Today I have already had the curried lentil soup for lunch, and for my supper I will be having the chickpeas with cumin and spinach!

Lisa Turner said...

Hi Hannah;

It is a fantastic book. It was a gift from my friend Jackie of Tinned Tomatoes who lives in Scotland. Such a treasure.

eatme_delicious said...

This sounds delicious! I can't believe I haven't tried risotto style barley yet.

The Food Hunter said...

mu hubby thinks I'm crazy but I always save my parm rinds