Pearl barley and pea risotto with haloumi crumbs

This comforting pearl barley and pea risotto is incredibly easy and delicious. It's the perfect recipe to whip up for a tasty and quick midweek family meal

By Jennene Plummer
  • 15 mins preparation
  • 35 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
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  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 slices pancetta
  • 20 gram butter
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 cup pearl barley
  • 2 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cup hot chicken stock
  • 500 gram fresh peas
  • 250 gram haloumi, half grated, half crumbled
  • 1 cup snow pea sprouts


  • 1
    In a large, heavy-based saucepan, heat half the oil on high. Cook pancetta slices for 1-2 minutes each side until crisp. Drain on a paper towel.
  • 2
    Add half the butter to pan and heat on medium until bubbling. Sauté leek and garlic for 4-5 minutes until tender. Add barley and thyme, then cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat grains well.
  • 3
    Pour in wine to deglaze pan. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until almost completely evaporated.
  • 4
    Add stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring until almost completely absorbed between each addition. Add peas in with final cup of stock.
  • 5
    Stir in grated haloumi and remaining butter. Season, then cover and set aside for 2 minutes.
  • 6
    In a small frying pan, heat remaining oil on high. Cook crumbled haloumi for 2-3 minutes, stirring, until golden. Scatter risotto with haloumi, pancetta and snow pea sprouts to serve.