Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms

A healthy and quick vegetarian recipe for any meatless menu.

from No More Brain Drain
Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Mushrooms


  • 3½ cups reduced-sodium, fat-free chicken broth (or vegetable stock for a vegetarian version)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 225 grams mushrooms (preferably wild varieties), coarsely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup pearl barley
  • 225 grams asparagus, stems cut into bite-size pieces (leave tips whole)
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

    How to make it  

  • 1

    In a medium saucepan, heat the broth and water to just below a simmer. Cover; keep at a simmer.

  • 2

    In a large deep nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Sauté the onion until slightly softened, 3 minutes.

  • 3

    Add the mushrooms and garlic. Sauté until the mushrooms are softened, 5 minutes.

  • 4

    Stir in the barley and 2 cups of the hot broth mixture. Simmer, covered, for 15 minutes.

  • 5

    Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus tips in the pot of remaining hot broth for 2 minutes. Transfer them to a plate with a slotted spoon.

  • 6

    Add more hot broth to the barley mixture, ½ cup at a time, stirring frequently. Let each batch of liquid be absorbed before adding more. When adding the last batch of broth, stir in the asparagus stem pieces. Stir in the Parmesan. Serve topped with the asparagus tips.

  • Nutritional Information(per serving)

    • Calories: 329
    • Fat: 10 g
    • Saturated Fat: 2 g
    • Cholesterol: 23 mg
    • Sodium: 743 mg
    • Carbs: 49 g
    • Protein: 49 g
    • Fiber: 10 g

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