Asparagus, pearl barley risotto

Vegan Spinach & Asparagus Risotto

Zoe: ‘This take on risotto switches arborio rice for pearl barley, a great wholegrain rich in fibre and a good source of Vitamin B1 which is essential for the break down of fat – especially helpful this time of year when we are getting beach body ready! The abundance of vegetables in this dish will keep you fuller for longer which makes it great for taking to the office for lunch the next day.  ‘

This vegan risotto takes: 35 minutes

Asparagus, pearl barley risotto
Asparagus, pearl barley risotto

Get it:

Drizzle of Olive oil

150g of pearl barley

One onion

Handful of mushrooms

Bunch of asparagus (About 15)

One stick of celery

Two cloves of garlic crushed

One bay leaf

Two vegetable stock cubes (You will need roughly 500ml)

One small glass of white wine

300ml of warm water (for slow adding)

For the Spinach Oil:

Handful of Parsley

Two handfuls of spinach

Two Table Spoons of Olive Oil

One teaspoon of salt 

Pinch of pepper

Green risotto
Looks like a hulk risotto :’)

Make it:

1. Grab everything you need for the spinach oil and blend in a food processor. Alternatively you could chop really finely. 

2. In a large sauce pan add in a drizzle of olive oil. Fry up the onions and crushed garlic

3. After 5 minutes put the hob on a low heat, chuck in the pearl barley, stir and then pour in a small glass of white wine

4. Reduce a little then poor in 500ml of warm vegetable stock, the spinach oil, a bay leaf and celery. Bring to the boil then simmer on a low heat for 15 minutes – stirring occasionally 

5. Leave 8 asparagus to the side for later, chop up the rest and add to the mixture. Add in diced mushrooms, season with salt and pepper and cook for a further 10 minutes. You should have little warm water left on the side – feel free to add this in as and when needed, little by little to avoid the mixture drying out and sticking to early

6. By now your pearl barely should be tender and the risotto should look light and creamy with all the liquid absorbed. If the pearl barley is not tender add some more warm water and stick on a high heat until all the liquid is absorbed

7. Leave the risotto to rest for 5 minutes while you grill your 8 sticks of asparagus (be sure to snip the ends off). To do this place on a baking tray, cover in oil and season then grill for 5-8 minutes

8. Serve the risotto in large bowls topped with asparagus sticks


This risotto serves:

4 people looking for a healthy dish that is a little bit different


Tip: A good friend once told me mother nature knows best when it comes to asparagus. Using two hands hold the bottom and top of the stick gently between your thumb and finger. Bend the asparagus slowly back and fourth until the end snaps off! No more bad tasting end bits 🙂 



One thought on “Vegan Spinach & Asparagus Risotto

Have something to say? :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s