Barley Risotto

Serves 4

I love to make this meal over the winter months, a generous serving in front of the fire, it’s a true winter warmer and everyone loves the flavours.


220g pearl barley, rinsed

40g unsalted butter

4 tbsp olive oil

6 garlic cloves, crushed

1 small leek, washed, finely chopped

2 sicks celery, finely chopped

pinch chilli flakes

1 lemon juice and zest

1 red onion, finely chopped

1 handful dill, roughly chopped

250g feta

1 tbsp caraway seeds

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 400g tin chopped tomatoes

3 tbsp tomato paste

600ml vegetable stock


cracked black pepper


  1. In a large heavy based pot, over a medium heat, melt the butter and 2 tbsp olive oil, cook the leek, red onion, garlic and celery for 5 minutes or until soft.
  2. Add the barley, half the dill, lemon zest and juice, a pinch of salt, cilli flakes, tomatoes, tomato concentrate and stock. Stir to combine. Bring the mixture to the boil, then reduce heat to a gentle simmer for 35 – 40 minutes, stirring occasionally until all the liquid is absorbed and the barley is tender.
  3. Meanwhile, in a small dry frying pan, toast the caraway and mustard seeds for 2 minutes. Sprinkle on top of the crumbled feta with 2 tbsp olive oil and the rest of the dill.
  4. Once the risotto is ready, season to taste, divide between bowls and top with the feta.

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