Barley & broad bean risotto

Swap rice for pearl barley to make this broad bean risotto with ricotta and herbs. It's easy to prepare and makes an easy midweek meal that's full of flavour

  • Prep:25 mins
    Cook:45 mins
  • Serves 2
  • Easy

Nutrition per serving

  • kcal 670
  • fat 24g
  • saturates 9g
  • carbs 78g
  • sugars 6g
  • fibre 13g
  • protein 28g
  • salt 0.4g


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • 150g pearl barley
  • 700-800ml hot vegetable stock
  • 250g frozen broad beans, podded, defrosted
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped mint, plus extra to serve
  • 3 tbsp ricotta
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped basil
  • 2 tbsp parmesan or vegetarian alternative, grated, plus extra to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion along with a pinch of salt and gently fry for 8-10 mins or until softened. Stir through the garlic and cook for 1 min. Tip in the pearl barley and 600ml of the stock. Bring to the boil, lower to a simmer and cook for 35 mins, stirring regularly, until nearly all the liquid has been absorbed and the pearl barley is tender. Add the remaining stock, a splash at a time, to loosen if it looks too thick.

  2. Roughly chop half of the podded broad beans (or pulse a few times in a food processor), keeping the rest whole. Stir all the broad beans into the risotto along with the lemon zest, mint, ricotta, basil and parmesan (with a splash more stock or water if it looks dry). Season, then serve in bowls with extra mint and parmesan scattered over.

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