Meatless Monday: Summer Barley Risotto

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This is one of my favorite new dishes, hands down.

I had no concerns this would be great (I mean, it has roasted tomatoes so…it has to be), but it really did knock my socks off.

I’ve mentioned before that I love barley. This probably seems like a weird thing to say, but it’s true. I just love its nutty flavor and chewy texture. I’ve made “risotto” from it before, and it’s a great thing. Combined with sweet summer corn, basil, and the aforementioned tomatoes, it’s hard to go wrong. Impossible, actually.

I decided to replace 1/2 cup of barley with a can of cannellini beans, to add a little more protein and texture to the dish (which worked out especially well since I realized after I started making this that I only had one cup of barley, anyway). I also reduced the fat a bit, to absolutely no ill effects.

This dish was fantastic. Tom liked it to much that he had more at dinner (which is kind of a bummer, because it meant fewer leftovers. Hmph.) and we both raved about it again the next day, after lunch. The barley and beans are filling, but the tomatoes, sweet corn, and basil keep this really light and refreshing.  Risotto isn’t normally a dish associated with the summer, but this dish will make you rethink that.

Meatless Monday: Summer Barley Risotto

  • I’ve made barley risotto before also and just LOVE that texture! Way more than I love arborio rice, that’s for sure. Bonus that it’s better for me.

    You’ve really included all the best flavors of summer in here!

  • Barley is quickly becoming one of my favorite things! Definitely a great summer dish

  • Gorgeous! It looks like a super simple summer dish too!

  • ‘Tis a delicious, healthy and great looking meal, Elly.

  • RIsotto is one of my favorite things of all time! Love that you can make it with barley and still get that light summer taste 🙂

  • This dish would convince me to add more grains to my diet for sure.

  • What a great recipe, Elly! This is perfect on so many levels–barley, roasted tomatoes, protein-packed, and perfect for lunch now that school’s about to start back up. Thanks for sharing!

  • This dish sounds delish! Because I am “TheKitchenChopper”, I’m going try this and add some Kale or Arugula. Yowza! facebook.com/theKitchenChopper

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  • Kris

    Sorry, this dish did not appeal to me. Made it for me and girlfriend, who loves risotto. She said this was not risotto. I generally like barley in soups and stews, but this was maybe just a little too bland.

    • elly

      Sorry you didn’t care for it. It’s not really “risotto” since it isn’t made with rice, but we really loved it anyway.

  • Kris

    That’s o.k., not all recipes are going to be for everyone. I love most of the rest of them I have tried, I just want to keep my comments real.

  • sharon

    What do you mean “one pint” of tomatoes?

    • elly

      It’s a volume measurement, how they sell them at the grocery store here.