In this pungent mushroom risotto, we substitute fiber-rich barley for the more traditional arborio rice. Any combination of mushrooms will work; if you use shiitakes, remove the stems from the caps before using.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, May/June 2007


Recipe Summary

1 hr


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring broth and water to a simmer in a large saucepan. Adjust heat to maintain a steady simmer.

  • Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until they begin to release their juices, 2 to 3 minutes. Add barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 1 minute more. Reduce heat to medium.

  • Add 1/2 cup hot broth to the barley and cook, stirring, until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup hot broth at a time and stirring until the liquid has been absorbed after each addition, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer, until the barley is tender and creamy but still somewhat firm, 35 to 45 minutes. (You might not use all the broth.)

  • Stir in arugula and cook, stirring, until it is wilted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Stir in cheese, butter and vinegar. Season with pepper.

Nutrition Facts

309 calories; protein 9g; carbohydrates 47.2g; dietary fiber 9.7g; sugars 4.3g; fat 8.7g; saturated fat 2.7g; cholesterol 8.9mg; vitamin a iu 563.1IU; vitamin c 4.4mg; folate 38.5mcg; calcium 90.7mg; iron 1.9mg; magnesium 57.4mg; potassium 373.4mg; sodium 735.4mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

Reviews (9)

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9 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 2
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
I did mine with white wine used pearl & black barley & a mushroom stock.... (a mix of mushroom stalks & dried shiitakes) HEAVEN!! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Earthy Yumminess This was a great way to use up the barley in my pantry which I don't cook all that often. It's a humble but tasty dish--has the mouth feel of an arborio rice risotto but much earthier in flavor. I found the serving size filling--had it for lunch today--but now it's 2 hours later and I'm hungry. Probably should have eaten something with it. I added some frozen peas to amp up the veggies. Can't believe how a huge pile of greens can wilt down to almost nothing--blows me away every time. I see this as a great weekday dish and I think it's a recipe that can be played with. I was wishing I had a red pepper because I think that would add some more eye appeal and a compatible flavor. I also want to try it with beef broth which is always a good partner to barley. Pros: High fiber Cons: Constant attending Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Rich and Tasty I substituted kale for the arugula and skipped the water and cheese (I have issues with cheese) while adding additional wine. Also I threw in some oregano and rosemary in a fit of whimsy. Absolutely lovely. It's now on my list of comfort foods. I made the full batch even though I'm only cooking for one. I put the rest in individual containers and freezed them for future meals. Very convenient. I highly recommend this recipe. Pros: Healthy and Flavourful Cons: NULL Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Really Really Good!!! This recipe is awesome! I actually made it using 1/2 recipe as it's just me! And I used quinoa instead of barley because my local grocery store didn't seem to have barley or I just didn't know where it was... I will DEFINITELY make this again! SO good! Pros: Flavor ease Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Fabulous This is so full of nutrients is very tasty and is a welcome change to eating rice pasta etc... It's not often that I find a recipe that I want to make again and again. This one is definitely a keeper. Pros: Healthy and tasty. Cons: It is hands on. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
Pretty Good I used arborio rice instead of the barley...and that may have been a mistake. I found the flavors to be bland and the ingredients mushy. Although I appreciate using mushrooms as a meat I have to say I feel like the recipe was missing something like a meat. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Fantastic dish! Risotta is always labor intensive but this is one version that is definitely worth the effort. Meaty flavorful and very filling. Really really good! It looks beautiful too. Great dish for dinner parties too. One tip: while cooking this I thought it wasn't seasoned enough. I almost added salt but thankfully I didn't. I hadn't taken the broth I was adding into consideration. Never did need to add salt. Also be careful not to have the flame up too high otherwise the barley won't absorb as much liquid. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
I substituted Israel couscous for the barley (which I too could not find in local stores) otherwise made it as described and was a wonderful filling winter dinner. Thought I would have leftovers but husband and I finished it off. Agree with other reviewers that adding some spices next time will liven this up but it was nevertheless delicious! Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great dish! I used white wine instead of red omitted the balsamic at the end added Romano & Parmesan cheeses & it was fabulous! I had no idea that barley could be cooked like arborio. Will definitely make again! Pros: Tasty filling winter Cons: Labor intensive Read More