Springtime Barley Risotto

“Local recipe as adapted from the cookbook 'Power Foods'. For a vegan version, omit the Parmesan cheese.”

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 2 leeks, white and light-green parts only, thinly sliced (be sure to clean the leeks well to remove any grit)
  • 12 cup dry white wine (for non-alcoholic version substitute water or broth)
  • 2 cups water
  • coarse salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 14 ounces vegetable broth
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut on bias into 2-inch pieces (about 1 pound)
  • 10 ounces frozen peas, thawed (I used only about 6-8 ounces)
  • 14-12 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 14 cup mint leaf, thinly slice plus a few whole leaves for garnish


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add barley and leeks; cook until leeks begin to soften, 5 to 7 minutes. Add wine; cook until evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add 2 cups water; bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper. Reduce heat; simmer until liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add broth and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until barley is tender and creamy, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add asparagus; cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in peas until heated through.
  7. Add Parmesan and mint; season with salt and pepper.
  8. Garnish with mint leaves.

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