Pearl barley, pumpkin and pea risotto

Traditional vegetarian risotto with a twist ... pearl barley replaces the rice. But for risotto purists, you can simply substitute the barley for Arborio rice.

  • 20 mins preparation
  • 1 hr 25 mins cooking
  • Serves 4
  • Print


Pearl barley, pumpkin and pea risotto
  • 750 gram peeled, seeded, cubed pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • 2 cup pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 5 cup hot vegetable stock
  • 2 cup thawed frozen peas
  • 200 gram crumbled feta
  • 1 cup mint, roughly chopped


Pearl barley, pumpkin and pea risotto
  • 1
    Preheat oven to hot, 200°C.
  • 2
    In a baking dish, toss pumpkin with 1 tablespoon oil and sugar. Season to taste. Bake 40-45 minutes, until tender.
  • 3
    Heat remaining oil in a large saucepan on medium. Saute onion for 2-3 minutes or until tender. Add pearl barley and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir in wine and half the pumpkin. Bring to a boil. Add 1/2 cup stock at a time, stirring constantly, until liquid absorbs (about 30 minutes in total) and until barley is just tender.
  • 4
    Stir peas through and cook a further 2-3 minutes. Add remaining pumpkin. Stir until heated through.
  • 5
    Mix feta and mint through, reserving some to garnish. Serve hot.


Cut the pumpkin into cubes of about 3cm. Replace pearl barley with brown rice, if liked. If you prefer to use Arborio rice, the cooking time will be reduced by about 10 minutes.

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