Barley and Roasted Tomato Risotto

This dish has more fiber than traditional risotto that’s made with Arborio rice. Served with a side of steamed spinach, it’s a warm and comforting vegetarian meal. You’ll love the nutty, rich flavor of the barley too.


Calories: 252
Total fat: 6g
Saturated fat: 2g
Monounsaturated fat: 3g
Protein: 9g
Carbohydrate: 45g
Fiber: 9g
Cholesterol: 10mg
Sodium: 440mg



10 large Roma (plum) tomatoes, about 2 pounds total weight
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (divided use)
1 teaspoon salt (divided use)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (divided use)
4 cups vegetable stock or broth
3 cups water
2 shallots, chopped
2 cups pearl barley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus whole leaves for garnish
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1½ tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat the oven to 450 F.

2. Peel tomatoes and cut each into 4 wedges. Arrange tomatoes on a nonstick baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Toss gently to mix. Roast tomatoes until they are softened and beginning to brown, 25 to 30 minutes. Set aside 16 wedges to use as garnish later.

3. Combine vegetable stock and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep at a simmer.

4. In a separate large, heavy saucepan, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and sauté until soft and translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the barley and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in ½ cup of the simmering stock mixture and cook until the liquid is completely absorbed, stirring occasionally.

5. Continue stirring the stock mixture into the barley, adding ½-cup amounts and allowing the liquid to absorb each time before adding more. Repeat until the barley is tender, about 45 to 50 minutes total.

6. Remove from the heat and fold in the tomatoes (minus the 16 garnish wedges), chopped basil, parsley, thyme and grated cheese. Add the remaining ¾ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and stir to combine.

7. Divide the risotto equally among warmed individual shallow bowls. Garnish each with two roasted tomato wedges and the whole basil leaves.

Serves 8

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