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Barley - Recipe

Barley Risotto with Spring Vegetables


Barley, a key ingredient in beer-making, is also a wholesome and versatile grain with a satisfyingly nutty flavor.


1 1/2 lbs. asparagus, trimmed
1 qt. reduced sodium, organic chicken broth (can use vegetable broth)
2 cups water
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups pearl barley
1/2 cup white wine
2 tsp. garlic, chopped
1 tsp. lemon zest
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp. fresh black pepper
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted and chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped parsley


1. Cut top third of each asparagus stalk into 1/2 inch pieces.  Set aside.  Coarsely chop remaining asparagus stalks, place in microwaveable bowl, add 1 Tbsp. water, and microwave 4 minutes until tender.  Set aside.

2. Heat 1 qt. chicken broth and 2 cups of water in large saucepan until boiling.  Turn down heat and simmer.

3. In large sauté pan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and carrots.   Sauté for 3 minutes.  Add wine and continue cooking until liquid is absorbed.  Add barley and hot broth, cook for 35-40 minutes until barley is tender but still chewy.

Meanwhile, steam asparagus tips in microwave for 3 minutes, until just tender.  Set aside.

5. Add chopped asparagus stems, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, salt, and pepper to food processor.  Puree until smooth.

When barley is tender, add asparagus puree, asparagus tips, parmesan cheese, hazelnuts, and parsley.  Toss well.

Adjust salt and pepper to taste.

Serves: 6
Calories per serving: 185
Calorie equivalent: 2 carbohydrate, 2 vegetables, 1 fat

Paulette Lambert, R.D., C.D.E.
Recipe created by Paulette Lambert, R.D., C.D.E. (pictured). Lambert is director of nutrition for California Health & Longevity Institute, located within Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village. With more than 25 years of experience in private practice after an extensive clinical education, Lambert has wide-ranging experience in clinical nutrition and the development of individualized dietary plans.

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(Updated: 05/01/12 SG)

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