Barley Risotto with Roasted Squash


An unusual take on a classic risotto using pearl barley as the grain rather than rice. Cheap, tasty and highly calorific! What's not to like?

10 - 12


This recipe requires an oven as well as a hob so you can roast the squash so is not suitable for all resi kitchens.



  1. Rinse the barley then cook it in simmering water, keeping the pan part-covered, for 35 - 45 minutes, or until tender. Drain. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6.
  2. Place squash in a roasting pan with half the thyme. Season with pepper and toss with half the oil. Roast, stirring once, for 30 - 35 minutes, until tender and beginning to brown.
  3. Heat half the butter with the remaining oil in a large pan. Cook the leeks and garlic gently for 5 minutes.
  4. Add the mushrooms and remaining thyme then cook until the liquid from the mushrooms evaporates and they begin to fry.
  5. Stir in the carrots and cook for 2 minutes, then add the barley and most of the stock. Season well and part cover the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour in the remaining stock if the mixture seems dry.
  6. Stir in the parsley, the remaining butter and half the cheese, then stir in the squash. Add seasoning to taste and serve immediately, sprinkled with the toasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts and the remaining cheese.