Barley, thyme and wild mushroom risotto

Barley, another nutrient rich wholegrain which has a nutty texture and makes a wonderful change to the traditional rice risotto. Barley’s high fibre levels help to lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood, which in turn helps to decrease the risk of heart disease.

Serves 4-6


Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 banana shallot, finely chopped

2 or 3 cloves of garlic, grated

250g a mix of wild or organic mushrooms, sliced

4 or 5 sprigs of thyme, reserve some for serving

Salt and pepper

300g barley

1 litre Organic stock or bone broth of choice

1 glass white wine

Juice and zest of 1 large unwaxed lemon

Grated parmesan, about 3 tbs plus some to garnish

3 tbs roughly chopped hazelnuts to garnish

  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and sauté the shallot with the garlic with salt and pepper for 5-7 minutes until soft.

  2. Add the mushrooms and continue to cook for another 2 or 3 minutes, stirring now and again.

  3. Add the barley and cook for 1 minute.

  4. Pour in the wine, if using, and stir until it is absorbed. If you are not using wine add the same amount in stock.

  5. Add most of the thyme then pour over the remaining stock. Cook for 40 minutes on a low simmer until the barley is tender. Stir occasionally and top up with more stock or water if needed.

  6. Remove from the heat and stir in your parmesan, lemon zest and juice.

  7. Serve immediately with some chopped hazelnuts and thyme leaves on top.