Mushroom Barley Risotto


2013 is the year that I decided to try mushrooms. L was appointed my mushroom godmother and made me a mushroom jambalaya which convinced me that I’d been missing out. However, all of a sudden it’s November and I figured my mushroom recipe collection could use a little work. Luckily, the lovely Angela Liddon from tempted me with this Barley Mushroom Risotto with Caramelized Onions which I’ve adapted very minimally.



– 2 cups diced brown onion (approx. 1 1/2 large onions- save the leftover half for the caramelized onions!)

– 2 tbsp olive oil

– 3 cloves of garlic, minced

– 300g mini portabello mushrooms, thinly sliced

– 1 tsp dried rosemary (or 1 sprig fresh if you have it!)

– 1 cup uncooked pearl barley

– 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

– 3.5 cups vegetable stock

– 1/2 tsp salt

– Black pepper, to taste


– 1 1/2 large brown onions (use the leftover 1/2 onion from the risotto!)

– salt

– 3 tbsp olive oil


1. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in saucepan on a medium/high heat and add onions and garlic. Cook until onions soften, stirring to prevent them catching.

2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and cook for 5-10 minutes (do not be alarmed, they will release ‘juice.’)

3. Season with rosemary, salt, pepper and balsamic vinegar and stir well.

4. Add the barley and 1 cup of stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat- gradually continue to add the stock, 1 cup at a time, until all the liquid is absorbed (approximately 30 minutes but taste-test, the barley will be soft and risotto like).

5. Whilst the risotto is cooking away make the caramelized onion garnish. Slice 1.5 large brown onions into thin half-moons. Heat 3 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan and add the onions. Sprinkle liberally with salt and cook on a low heat until the onions are brown.

6. Serve risotto with a spoonful of caramelized onion and dig in!


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