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Creamy Barley With Peas and Chives

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“This is a delicious meal that is very similar to a risotto. It is particularly good in the summer when fresh ingredients are readily available. It's an old recipe that I've tweaked as I've made it. For a non-alcoholic version, simply use 4 1/2 cups (2 pints, 1.2 litres) of stock. Serves 3-4 as a main meal, more if used as a side dish.”

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Heat the oil in a non-stick skillet, then add the onion and cook gently for 3-4 minutes.
  2. Stir in the pearl barley and continue to cook, stirring, for a few minutes.
  3. Pour in the wine and simmer until it is absorbed.
  4. Pour in the stock a quarter at a time and simmer until the stock is absorbed before adding more. It should take 45 minutes or so for all the stock to be absorbed.
  5. 10 minutes before finishing cooking, stir in the peas. Continue to simmer until nearly all the liquid is absorbed.
  6. Turn off the heat, stir in the cream cheese and most of the chives.
  7. Season with salt and pepper to your taste and serve with the remaining chives scattered over the top.

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