Mushroom Barley Risotto
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 6
  • 1 quart (4 cups) low sodium chicken or vegetable stock
  • 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided use
  • ½ yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided use
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 ½ cups pearl barley
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 4 ounces oyster mushrooms, sliced
  • 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 packed cups baby spinach
  • ½ cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • 1 ounce Neufchâtel cheese (or cream cheese)
  1. Heat the stock and 4 cups water together in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, 2 teaspoons thyme, bay leaf, 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook another minute until fragrant. Add the barley and stir to coat all of the grains with the oil. Add the wine and cook 2-3 minutes until it is absorbed.
  3. Add the stock to the barley in increments of about 1½ cups, stirring often to prevent the grains from catching bottom. Adjust the heat to keep the mixture at a low simmer. After each addition of liquid, let the barley absorb most of the liquid before adding more. The process should take about 40 minutes and at the end, the barley should be tender but with a chewy texture.
  4. While the barley is cooking, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until nicely browned, 3-4 minutes. Season the mushrooms with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  5. When the barley is cooked, lower the heat and stir in the mushrooms, spinach, pecorino, Neufchâtel cheese and remaining teaspoon of thyme. Season the mixture with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with an extra sprinkle of pecorino if desired. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 323 Fat: 8.5 Saturated fat: 3.2 Carbohydrates: 45.9 Fiber: 8.7 Protein: 13.5
Recipe by The Foodie Physician at