Facebook LinkedIn Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram YouTube Icon Navigation Search Icon Main Search Icon Video Play Icon Plus Icon Minus Icon Check Icon Print Icon Note Icon Heart Icon Filled Heart Icon Single Arrow Icon Double Arrow Icon Hamburger Icon TV Icon Close Icon Sorted Hamburger/Search Icon

Barley Risotto with Mushrooms & Gremolata

Scott Phillips

Servings: six as a side dish, four as a main course.

When cooked as a risotto, barley develops a rich and creamy consistency. The parsley, lemon, and garlic garnish is a fresh, simple accent to the risotto’s nutty, robust flavors.


For the gremolata:

  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 Tbs. grated lemon zest
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic

For the barley risotto:

  • 1 oz. dried porcini mushrooms, rinsed
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 lb. assorted fresh mushrooms (such as morels, shiitakes, oyster, or chanterelles), sliced 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt; more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 to 7 cups homemade or low-salt canned chicken or vegetable broth
  • 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cups pearled barley

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on six servings
  • Calories (kcal) : 390
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 110
  • Fat (g): 12
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 15
  • Sodium (mg): 690
  • Carbohydrates (g): 63
  • Fiber (g): 13
  • Protein (g): 12


  • To make the gremolata—In a small bowl, mix together the parsley, lemon zest, and garlic.
  • To make the risotto—Soak the porcini in the hot water for at least 30 min. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve and reserve. Chop the porcini into small pieces.
  • In a large sauté pan with straight sides, heat the oil over high heat until shimmering but not smoking. Sauté the sliced fresh mushrooms until they release some liquid and are browned, about 5 min. Stir in the porcini and the reserved liquid, scraping up any browned bits. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer the mushrooms and liquid to a bowl.
  • In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil, reduce the heat, partially cover, and hold at a simmer.
  • In the pan used for the mushrooms, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender and translucent, 8 to 10 min. Add 2 tsp. coarse salt and the barley, and stir until the grains are coated with butter. Add 1 cup of the hot broth, reduce the heat to low, and stir frequently until the broth is absorbed. Stir in another cup of broth. Once it’s absorbed, add 1 more cup, stirring until it’s also absorbed. Add 2 more cups and simmer the barley, stirring frequently, until it softens but isn’t completely tender and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 10 min. Stir in the cooked mushrooms and their liquid and 1 to 2 more cups of broth. Simmer until the barley is tender, about 10 min. more, stirring frequently and adding hot water or broth if needed. The total cooking time for the barley can range from 30 to 60 min.
  • Stir in the gremolata and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve hot.


Rate or Review

Reviews (6 reviews)

  • cdwilliams | 05/18/2016

    I made this for a potluck, and to my surprise (given that it is a very brown looking dish), it was finished while many others were not. The flavor was really good, and the barley had a solid chewiness but was not unpleasantly tough. I cooked the garlic with the onions; I was afraid that raw garlic would be too pungent, but next time will prepare as written. It makes a LOT of food - a solid 6 main dish servings. Next time, I'll make at least 50% more of the gremolata - it looks beautiful and adds a nice flavor contrast.

  • HalB | 01/25/2016

    My husband and I love this recipe. It's perfect for meatless Monday!

  • Bagni | 12/01/2014

    Loved this! Very hearty satisfying entree for a vegetarian meal with the gremolata adding "lightness"

Show More

Rate this Recipe

Write a Review

Delicious Dish

Find the inspiration you crave for your love of cooking

Fine Cooking Magazine

Subscribe today
and save up to 50%

Already a subscriber? Log in.


View All


Follow Fine Cooking on your favorite social networks

We hope you’ve enjoyed your free articles. To keep reading, subscribe today.

Get the print magazine, 25 years of back issues online, over 7,000 recipes, and more.

Start your FREE trial