Herbed barley bean “risotto”

Add savoury vegetables, legumes, herbs and cook the barley in milk and you’ve got a main course that is oh-so-satisfying and good for you, too.

Serves 4 servings 
Prep time 0h 15m
Cook time 3h 50m
Total time 4h 5m
Herbed Barley Bean Risotto



  1. Step 1

    In a saucepan or in a large microwave-safe measuring cup, combine broth and half of the milk (1 cup or 250 mL). Heat over medium heat on the stove top, or on medium-high (70%) power in the microwave, for about 5 minutes or until steaming. Cover and keep hot.
  2. Step 2

    Meanwhile, in a large, deep pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, garlic, dried herbs, and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper and sauté for about 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Add barley and flour; stir to coat well.
  3. Step 3

    Stir in hot broth mixture. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until barley is almost tender. Add a little more of the milk if necessary to keep barley moist.
  4. Step 4

    Meanwhile, heat remaining milk until steaming.
  5. Step 5

    Stir Romano beans, green beans and remaining hot milk into barley. Cover and simmer, stirring often, for 10 to 15 minutes or until barley is tender and green beans are tender-crisp. Adjust the heat as necessary to keep the pot at a steady simmer without boiling. Remove from heat and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes to thicken slightly. Drizzle in vinegar, stirring to combine. Stir in half of the basil or parsley. Season to taste with up to 1/4 tsp (1 mL) more pepper. Serve sprinkled with remaining basil or parsley and Parmesan.