Barley "Risotto" with Asparagus & Shiitakes

Your rating: None Average: 4.3 (16 votes)

The nutty flavor and toothsome texture of barley make it a ideal complement for Parmesan cheese in this risotto-style dish. Be sure to use the convenient quick-cooking barley, which is available in most supermarkets, rather than regular barley, which takes much longer to cook.

"I made this last night and thought it was wonderful. A real keeper. "
Barley "Risotto" with Asparagus & Shiitakes

Makes: 4 servings

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 12 ounces asparagus
  • 2 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, (white and light green parts), chopped (3/4 cup)
  • 4 ounces shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps thinly sliced
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Snap off ends of asparagus stalks. Peel asparagus stalks with a vegetable peeler; cut into 1 1/2-inch lengths. Steam until just tender, about 3 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Bring broth to a simmer in a saucepan or in the microwave; keep warm. Heat oil in a heavy, wide pan over medium heat. Add scallions and shiitakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Add barley and stir for 1 minute. Add wine and stir until evaporated, about 1 minute.
  3. Add about 1/2 cup of the hot broth and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Continue cooking, adding enough broth, 1/2 cup at a time, and stirring frequently, until the barley is just tender and the mixture has a slightly saucy consistency, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and the reserved asparagus. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Per serving: 275 calories; 8 g fat (3 g sat, 4 g mono); 12 mg cholesterol; 37 g carbohydrates; 13 g protein; 6 g fiber; 392 mg sodium; 368 mg potassium.

Carbohydrate Servings: 1/2

Exchanges: 2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 medium-fat meat, 1 fat

More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner