Like all risottos this one takes some time, but it is well worth it! Barley risotto is much easier to get right than rice risottos, although you can still over stir it, it is more forgiving and less likely to become glue-like in texture. For this recipe I used hulled barley, but if you are using pearl barley you may want to use a little less broth, so when you may want to try it as you go, so you don’t overcook it!

Yield: 6 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Total time: 1 hour


5 cups | chicken or vegetable broth

1 cup | barley

1 lb | variety of mushrooms, I used button mushrooms and shiitake, sliced

2 | shallots, diced

1 1/2 tbsp | vegan butter

2 | dried bay leaves

1/2 tsp | asafetida

2 tsp | fresh thyme

1 tbsp | dried parsley

1 tsp| dried rosemary, crushed

Zest from one lemon

Salt to taste



  1. In a pot, bring the 5 cups of broth to a boil. Once it reaches a boil turn down the heat and let it simmer on low.
  2. In a dutch oven over medium heat add the 1 1/2 tbsp of vegan butter and the shallots. Cook until the shallots are translucent.
  3. Now add the mushrooms, rosemary, thyme and asafetida to the dutch oven, cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Now remove about 3/4 of the mushroom and shallot mixture from the dutch oven and set aside.
  5. Add the barley to the dutch oven and allow it to toast for 3-4 minutes, stir frequently be careful that it doesn’t burn.
  6. Now add 1 cup of broth, lemon zest and barley leaves to the barley/mushroom mixture. You will want to stir frequently but not continuously. If it is stirred continuously it will get a glue like texture. Once all the liquid is absorbed add in the next cup of broth wait for that to absorb and continue this until the last cup of broth. Continue to stir frequently.
  7. When you are down to the final cup of broth add in the rest of mushroom and shallot mixture.
  8. The risotto is now complete! Taste and see if it needs any salt (it might not due to the salt from the broth) and top with Parmesan cheese.

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