Barley Mushroom Risotto

 Whole grain barley is a great substitute for rice and and works really well as a risotto. It is a wonderfully versatile cereal grain, full of fiber, with a rich nut-like flavor and a chewy, pasta-like consistency. Make sure you soak it overnight in water with a tsp of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to reduce phytic acid and absorb all the important minerals.


Barley Mushroom Risotto
Serves 4
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
  1. 1 cup yellow onion, chopped
  2. 12 ounces cleaned and sliced mushrooms
  3. 3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
  4. 1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
  5. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  6. 1 cup pearl barley, soaked overnight
  7. 1/2 cup dry white wine
  8. 6 cups vegetable broth
  9. 1 tbsp vegan butter
  10. 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Stirring, saute onion until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes. If they start to stick to the pan add 1 tbsp of water.
  2. Add the mushrooms and saute until they have released all of their liquid and are golden brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Deglaze with wine and let it evaporate completely.
  4. Stir in the herbs and garlic, then add the barley and stir to coat for 1 minute. Add 2 cups of the broth and bring to a simmer.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Add more broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed. In the end the barley should be tender but still slightly firm. You might not need all of the broth, but most of it.
  6. Remove the pan from the heat and mix in butter and cheese.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

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