- 2/3 cup (150 g) barley (whole or pearled)
- 230 g (more or less) fresh spinach
- 8 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoon evo oil
- 1 medium red cipolline onion, minced
- 1 clove garlic, lightly smashed
- pinch of peperoncino
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano
- Wash and spun the spinach dry, then chop them. Prepare the vegetable broth and leave it on low heat.
- In a large and deep pan (we used a Dutch oven), add the evo oil, the garlic, minced onion, and chili flakes. Sauté for 1-2 minutes.
- Rinse the barley under cold running water. Add it to the pan and stir. Season with salt and pepper and toast for 1 minute.
- Add the white wine and let dissipate, about 2 minutes.
- Slowly, start adding the broth 1-2 ladles at a time.
- In the meantime, purée about 30 g of the chopped spinach with 1 tablespoon of oil and some vegetable broth. Set aside.
- Cook the barley like a risotto, adding 1 ladle of broth as it starts to dissipate. At the 20-minute mark add the spinach puré. Kepp cooking adding the broth and stirring.
- At the 30 minute mark add the rest of the chopped spinach. Stir and keep cooking.
- Whole barley takes a little longer to cook, so it should take about 40 minutes. Taste it for seasoning and doneness.
- Then, add a pat of butter and almost all most of the grated Parmigiano (reserve some for garnishing). Stir vigourously to blend the butter and Parmigiano and obtain the creaminess. Cover with a ladle and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
- Plate and serve immediately with a sprinkle of Parmigiano on top.
This dish can also be done with Arborio or Carnaroli rice.
If using pearled barley, the cooking time is reduced and you will need less broth. Usually, pearled barley cooks in about 30 minutes.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Category: Pasta/risotto
- Method: Stovetop
- Cuisine: Italian
Keywords: barley risotto, spinach, garlic, purple onion, vegetable broth, fall, easy recipe, butter