Exactly what I was hoping for! This came out just as i had hoped. Yes it took a long time but I read the reviews and new what to expect 6 hours on high. I love fennel and this came out with a great mild fennel flavour. I didn't have any fennel seeds so left them out. Also didn't have any black olives. Used 1 large and 1 small fennel bulb and also threw in some celery that I needed to use up. Used 2 carrots and 3 shallots. Served to my friends here in Italy and they said a wonderful barley risotto! Thanks for the recipe! Pros: great flavour easy
Flavorful creamy and simple I forgot the fennel seeds and didn't have a very large fennel bulb (replaced it with some onion instead) and we definitely missed the fennel flavor. Overall this turned out wonderfully! 8 hours on low in my 6 quart slow cooker was just right and it stayed just fine on warm for 5 hours after that. Next time I will definitely use the fennel seeds. The only other change would be maybe to leave out the olives. The barley did get very creamy and absorbed all of the liquid in the recipe by the end of the 8 hours. I imagine it would do fine on high for 4 instead as well.
Definitely a keeper! Thanks to previous reviews a few adjustments made this absolutely delicious. I reduced the fennel seeds to 1/2 tsp and the flavour was well balanced and delicate. I used verjuice instead of wine and goat cheese feta instead of parmesan just because that's what I had available on the day. Slow cooked on High for 5 hrs - this was too long. Next time will go no more than 4 hrs to avoid the slight glugginess.
As some others have said I wish I'd noticed and read the comments first. Was still like soup after 3 and 1/2 hours in the crock pot on low. Cranked it up to high for another 3 hours until it somewhat resembled what a Risotto should be. When it was done it did not taste that great kind of bland and pasty and the fennel is overpowering. Needed a lot of salt and pepper. I might try again and dial back the fennel and use leave the 1 cup of water out. Didn't work great for me but I'm glad some others were pleased. Jeff Baltimore MD
I have cooked this twice. I have learned that it takes at least 6 hours in a slow cooker (on high or low). The second time I eliminated the cup of water and also withheld one cup of broth. I added it in as needed. I skipped the fennel seeds each time and I used 1/2 of a large fennel. I liked the mild fennel flavor. I also skipped the green beans because each time I needed to cook it ahead and couldn't deal with this step. With my changes this will be a part of my repertoire for parties. Goleta Cook Goleta CA
Mine came out fine after 4 hours on high just the right consistency. However BEWARE if you are not a huge fennel fan - this dish is overpowered by the fennel flavor. I could barely eat it and my husband who really likes the flavor of liquorice (which is what fennel and fennel seed taste like) couldn't finish his whole serving. Maybe omitting the fennel seed would bring it down a notch or two but I probably won't make it again. I did like the idea of using barley for a risotto though so I might use this as a base with other vegetables. AR Hamden CT
I agree slow-cooking for 4 hours on low does not work for this recipe. However on high works great! You can also cook it on the stove by simmering for 45 minutes. My family loved it! Add a piece of grilled fish on top and it is a wonderful meal! Brooke New York NY
This worked GREAT for us! We did have to do it on high for about 4 hours but the barely puffed up and it was wonderfully chewy. We added whatever veggies we had along with beans...peas and corn and even the kids loved it. A definite keeper. Slow Cooker Fan
I agrree should have read comments first Like most i didnt read comments first i agree too long to cook bland and fennel over powers. If I tried it again I would cut back on fennel and water and increase cheese a little. Pros: change from typical rice and potatoe Cons: fennel over powering; too long to cook
This is not risotto! Risotto is a process as much as a dish which is why this recipe fails for so many people. You might as well invent something like "Stir-fry in a slow cooker " because stir-fry is a discrete process quite apart from whatever ingredients are involved. Check out true risotto online and stick with the process....this is NOT what slow-cookers are for. Cons: The process is all wrong.