Mushroom Barley Risotto

by Heidi @ Food Doodles on

I hope everyone’s week has gone well.  I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog for the last week or so.  It’s been hot and not so much fun to spend time in the kitchen or at the computer.  I’ve been making plenty of salads and we’ve been eating peas in the pod straight from the garden, and of course popsicles and smoothies.  Plus we’ve been heating up leftovers to avoid spending time over the stove or oven.  We’ve also been spending time with the kids in the kiddie pool in the backyard, which is one of our favorite summer activities 😀

So, add risotto to the ever growing list of foods that I love.  My only complaint is that I don’t like using rice that’s had it’s bran and germ removed, which technically speaking is the most nutritious part.  Did you know that over half the nutrition in a whole grain of rice is in the tiny germ and bran?  Unfortunately brown rice doesn’t get creamy and thick like white risotto rices do.

Ever since seeing that cooking barley in a risotto results in a similarly creamy dish, I had to try it and I’m so glad I did.  Barley is actually much higher in fiber than brown rice and is higher in some nutrients such as selenium which can be difficult to get enough of from plant based sources.

In this case, find pot barley or scotch barley.  Pot barley is the least processed, while pearled barley has it’s bran removed.  Pearled barley cooks much faster but nutritionally is very similar to rice so it’s worth it to find unprocessed barley with the bran still in tact as a lot of the nutrition is contained in the bran.


Have a great weekend!


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{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Pure2raw Twins August 5, 2011 at

Never had barley risotto it looks good! It is sad these days the most of the nutrition of foods are taking away like the germ and bran!


2 Marsha @ The Harried Cook August 5, 2011 at

I have never had barley risotto, but it looks and sounds really good! Bookmarking this… sometimes it’s really hard to find regular risotto rice, like arborio, where I live… This sounds like the solution to my problem! Thanks for sharing, Heidi 🙂


3 Angie@Angiesrecipes August 6, 2011 at

Like Marsha, and Twins, I have never had barley risotto either. Looks very tasty!


4 Nami | Just One Cookbook August 6, 2011 at

My grandma loves barley and she used to eat instead of regular rice for keeping good health. I didn’t like the taste of barley while growing up, but now I’m very curious to taste this barley risotto. I love mushroom risotto and this must be good! Have a great weekend – I was working on 7 links you passed on to me. It’s harder than I thought to pick! 🙂


5 sally August 6, 2011 at

I’ve often thought about replacing the white rice in risotto with a different grain, but never thought of barley. Your dish looks so creamy and yummy. It is definitely on my list to try.


6 Maris (In Good Taste) August 6, 2011 at

This looks so creamy and delicious. Perfect for hot summer days.


7 Anna August 6, 2011 at

This looks incredible. A “healthy” risotto? Sign me up!


8 Peggy August 6, 2011 at

Mushrooms – check! Barley – check! Looks like I’ll be making some barley risotto this weekend =)


9 Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen August 6, 2011 at

Mmmm…this risotto looks great! I have never tried scotch barley before, I will have to keep a look out for it! 🙂


10 Soo @ Little Miss Fitness August 6, 2011 at

Even though it’s 90+degrees out right now, I want to heat up my kitchen with this recipe! 🙂 Looks delicious!!


11 Deborah August 6, 2011 at

I’ve always wanted to try risotto with barley, and this looks fantastic!!


12 Kate@FudgyGoodness August 7, 2011 at

I’ve never even heard of barley risotto (where have I been?) but this look delish! Thanks for the inspiration!


13 Renata August 7, 2011 at

I love risotto, but can you believe I have never made it myself? Yours looks absolutely gorgeous, inspiring and healthy!
Thanks for visiting my blog 🙂


14 Bobbie @bobbie baking blog August 7, 2011 at

Looks delicious; barely and mushrooms are a perfect flavor combination!
Hey Heidi, would love for you to visit a new page of mine


15 Sonia The Healthy Foodie August 7, 2011 at

I love barley risotto! Your recipe looks so good, so creamy! I wish I could get such good results, but unfortunately, when you cut down butter and cheese, well, you don’t get as creamy a risotto. Still, I much prefer the barley to the original version, and you’ve just inspired me to have some. I only wish it wasn’t a million degrees out…


16 Sonia The Healthy Foodie August 7, 2011 at

Oh, and I forgot… BRILLIANT photos, Heidi! Love ’em! Awesome job on that shoot, girl!


17 Clarkie @ Beloved Green August 7, 2011 at

I did know that most of the nutrition in a whole grain of rice is in the germ and bran, and I like how you used barley to counteract some of this. Very nice dish!


18 Jackie August 7, 2011 at

I LOVE mushroom risotto and I’ve never seen it made with barley. Great idea! Beautiful pics =)


19 Jenna @ Shove It In Your Face August 7, 2011 at

I love barley and am always looking for ways to use it, this looks divine!


20 Hannah August 7, 2011 at

I just made a barley risotto from Dreena Burton’s upcoming cookbook, and absolutely loved it! Thrilled to get your variation now, since I’m a mushroom fiend. Definitely making this as soon as we get a relatively cool evening to turn on the stove. 🙂


21 Mary @ Delightful Bitefuls August 7, 2011 at

Ohhhhhh yum! This sounds and looks divine! Bookmarked!

Great blog; happy I found you!

Mary xo
Delightful Bitefuls


22 Paula @ Spoons 'n' Spades August 7, 2011 at

Mmm, I adore mushrooms and this risotto looks wonderful! I’ve never tried making it with barley before, will have to give it a go.


23 Charis August 8, 2011 at

Gorgeous hungry-making picture!!


24 Regan @ The Professional Palate August 8, 2011 at

I’ve never tried a barely risotto. Love the idea!


25 Amy-Nutrition by Nature August 8, 2011 at

I have not tried that, yet. It looks delicious and I will have to grab some the next time we are at the store. Stay cool, it’s pretty darn hot out…ugh.


26 Amy @ Gastronome Tart August 8, 2011 at

I love mushroom risotto! I love the fact that you used barley. What a great idea!


27 Ari@ThE DiVa DiSh August 8, 2011 at

Ok..funny story I JUST bought barley yesterday intending on making risotto 🙂 ANNDD i was thinking of mushroom risotto ! You always read my mind! Can’t wait to try this!


28 Curt August 8, 2011 at

I love barley. I’ll bet that’s delicious with the onion and garlic.


29 Malli August 8, 2011 at

I love mushroom risotto and have been staying away from it since I am avoiding white rice too…but this looks so creamy and smooth it is now a ‘must-try’ for me. Pot barley and your recipe rock!!


30 kankana August 8, 2011 at

Such a simple and comforting hearty dish. Beautiful exposure on the photos.


31 Gosia August 9, 2011 at

This is such a fantastic recipe, mouth-watering just looking at the pictures. Barley is very popular in Polish cuisine, but the Italian twist you give it is incredible. Gotta test it soon. Glad to know that you finally have real summer. Hugs. Gosia


32 Barefeet In The Kitchen August 9, 2011 at

This picture is making me so hungry! It sounds delicious.


33 Martyna @ Wholesome Cook August 11, 2011 at

Hey, just like Gosia, I’m familiar with barley from Polish cooking, and I have noticed it’s become a popular way to serve it up as a risotto recently. Love mushrooms – they would definitely be on my “last supper” list, so this dish sounds perfect!


34 sunshine August 12, 2011 at

Thanks for recipe!~ Ive been wanting to try risotto,


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