Barley & Mushroom Risotto

Cook time 40 minutes
Servings 2


1.2L chicken or vegetable stock

20 dried porcini mushrooms (soaked in ½ cup water for 25 mins)

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

300g mixed mushrooms (like button, Swiss brown, oyster, shimeji), cut or torn in half

40g butter

1 small handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

1 onion, finely diced

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

400g pearl barley

175ml white wine (chardonnay or sauvignon blanc)

30g parmesan, finely grated, plus extra to serve

Salt & pepper

Barley & Mushroom Risotto


Place the stock and porcini in a saucepan over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large sauté pan over high heat, add the mixed mushrooms and toss to coat in the oil. Cook for 2–3 minutes, add half the butter, a good pinch of salt and the parsley. Transfer to a plate, cover and keep warm.

Wipe out the pan and place over medium-low heat. Add the remaining oil and stir in the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and sweat gently for 2–3 minutes until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the barley and stir to coat in the onion mixture. Pour in the wine and bring to a simmer, stirring until the wine is completely absorbed. Increase the heat to medium and add half of the stock to the pan, including some rehydrated porcini (these can be chopped if you like).

As the barley begins to absorb the liquid, add another 4 ladlefuls at a time, and tossing the pan until about 180 ml of the stock remains. This will take about 20 minutes.

Now, add the last of the stock to the pan and cook for 2–3 minutes until the stock is almost absorbed and the barley is tender. Add the remaining butter, the parmesan and half of the cooked mushrooms and any juices that have collected on the plate. Fold through and rest for a minute. Taste for seasoning.

To serve, spoon the barley risotto onto serving plates. Tap the base of each plate so it spreads out evenly. Scatter over the remaining mushrooms, the extra parmesan and a good grind of pepper.