Barley Risotto w/Asparagus, Mushrooms & Peas

February 12, 2015 by Rebecca Ryan (Leave a Comment)

BarleyRisottowvino What says, “I love you” more than a home-cooked meal for your loved one?!  Why not make something special this Valentine’s day such as this healthy, delicious, vegetarian barley “risotto.”  I used asparagus, mushroom, peas and onions but you can switch it up and use anything you have on hand.  Keeping things on the lighter side with a vegetarian meal is a good way to nourish your body without consuming as many calories as you would with a heavier meat dish.  This “risotto” is also dairy free and; therefore, will not be as dense as risottos you typically find recipes for and/or find on restaurant menus.  This dish is basically a Valentine home-run as you will get points for actually making it AND will feel light, energized and ready for any after dinner activities!  What, did I just say that?  But seriously, pair with your favorite vino and enjoy some quality time with your special Valentine!


Barley Risotto w/Asparagus, Mushrooms & Peas
Recipe type: Vegetarian, vegan
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 with leftovers
  • 1 cup pearled barley
  • 3 ½ cups water or vegetable stock (divided)
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup mushrooms of choice, chopped or sliced
  • 1 cup asparagus, diced
  • 1 cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 3 teaspoons mirin (rice cooking wine)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh herbs (I used parsley and basil)
  • ½ teaspoon kosher or sea salt (more for seasoning at the end)
  • Fresh black pepper
  1. Place 1 cup of pearled barley in a pot with 3 cups water or vegetable stock (or a mixture of both). Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes.
  2. Barley should be tender at this point. Drain any excess liquid and set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a saute pan. Add onions and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Be sure to move onions around so they don’t burn.
  4. Add sliced mushrooms and asparagus. Saute for a few minutes and add garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes more and then add the mirin. Saute for 2 minutes more and then add the cooked barley into the pan.
  5. Add the extra ½ cup vegetable stock (or water) and the fresh herbs. Fold all ingredients together. Add more salt/pepper to taste.
  6. Serve and enjoy!


Category: Dinner, Vegan, Vegetarian

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