Barley risotto with asparagus and mushrooms recipe

Published March 29, 2011 12:30AM (EDT)


  • 1 pound thickish asparagus, tough ends snapped off
  • 2 teaspoons plus 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 shallots, finely minced (I recommend pulsing in a food processor)
  • 8 ounces white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 ounces shiitake or maitake (hen of the woods) mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 ½ cups pearled barley
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups vegetable broth, more if needed (use a gluten-free variety if you are gluten-sensitive)
  • ½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • Grated zest of one lemon
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 450. Toss the asparagus with 2 teaspoons oil and roast on a cookie sheet for 10 minutes, or until crisp-tender. When cool, cut diagonally into ½-inch pieces.
  2. Heat the remaining oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or dutch oven.
  3. Add the shallots and sauté for 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 3 minutes. Add the barley and cook for one minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it is evaporated.
  4. Continue to add the broth in half-cup increments, stirring nearly constantly until each addition evaporates. Continue until the barley is tender but chewy, about 40 minutes.
  5. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. (You will not need salt if you used a commercial broth.)
  6. Add the asparagus. Combine the parsley, basil, lemon zest and garlic, and add to risotto just before serving.

By Cathy Elton

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