A yellow Le Creuset braising pan with lid semi-removed revealing Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus.

Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus

Try a twist on a classic risotto and use barley in place of Arborio rice! Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus is a creamy and comforting dish your family will love.

A yellow Le Creuset braising pan with lid semi-removed revealing Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus.
Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus

This Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus uses barley in place of Arborio rice for a risotto that works beautifully! I love the bite it retains, and it amazes me how creamy the risotto can be. This risotto was a sure winner with my family.

Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus in a yellow Le Creuset Braising pan.

Disclosure: I was provided with one Le Creuset Signature Braiser in Quince to style and photograph my submission for the Williams-Sonoma & Le Creuset Quince Photo Contest. All opinions are my own.

Fresh asparagus and artichokes in a white colander.

Mama, what’s your favorite color?

My daughter asked me this question over the weekend, and I had to stop and think. Hmm. Favorite color. I admitted to her that I really didn’t have one. When it comes to clothing, I love jewel tones because it suits my olive/tan skin. But I have a penchant for soft earthy tones, too. And I like a lot of brown. I don’t really have a favorite.

There was a time, however, when I tried to convince myself that yellow was my favorite color, simply because it was my mother’s favorite. I so wanted to be like her and my aunts — they all adored yellow, and it suited their sunny personalities. I was determined to believe that yellow was mine too. Until one day saw a photo of myself in an unflattering shade of pastel yellow. From that moment on, I decided it was not for me.

A bowl of barley risotto topped with artichoke hearts and asparagus.

Many years later, I have welcomed yellow back into my life. Shades of warm sun have found their way not only into my closet, but my kitchen as well. There’s a sense of glee and relaxation when I see my yellow bowls, the same happiness when I crack an egg and see the deeply hued yolks, or cut into ripe Meyer lemons. Instant happiness.

A yellow Le Creuset braising pan with lid semi-removed revealing Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus.

I was invited to participate in a fun Williams-Sonoma & Le Creuset Quince Photo Contest to help spread the word about the Quince Collection, the newest Le Creuset color exclusively available at Williams-Sonoma. I’m sure you will agree that the new color is beautiful! I have been putting this Quince braising pan to very good use and it is like spring has arrived early in my little kitchen. Seeing the warm yellow on the stove just makes me smile.

My photo (above) was one of 18 submissions, and I wanted to present it with a dish that celebrates the warmth of spring ahead, Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus.

This twist on a classic risotto uses barley in place of Arborio rice and it works beautifully! Give it a try for a creamy and comforting dish your family will love.

How to Make Barley Risotto

Here’s a quick overview of how the recipe is made–find the complete instructions in the printable recipe card!

First, heat butter and olive oil in a deep-sided pan and cook the leeks for a few minutes. Add garlic and season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the barley. Stir in the wine and let cook until the wine is absorbed. Next, add in one cup of chicken stock at time, allowing the grain to completely absorb the stock before adding the next addition. Continue until the barley risotto is creamy and soft (this will take around 30 minutes).

Add the vegetables toward the end of cooking and cook until tender. Then, remove the pan from the heat and stir in the remaining butter. Serve this dish hot and garnish with chopped parsley and Parmesan cheese.

Disclosure: I was provided with one Le Creuset Signature Braiser in Quince to style and photograph my submission for the Williams-Sonoma & Le Creuset Quince Photo Contest. All opinions are my own.

More Pasta, Rice and Grain Recipes

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Winter Squash and Quinoa Bake
Mushroom Meatballs
Instant Pot Bean Soup with Pearl Barley

Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus

Using barley in place of Arborio rice in risotto works beautifully! I love the bite it retains, and it amazes me how creamy the risotto can be. This Barley Risotto with Artichokes and Asparagus was a sure winner with my family.
Course Dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Calories 679kcal

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 leek cleaned, quartered, and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 cups barley
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock kept warm
  • 4 stalks asparagus cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 4 artichoke hearts halved (I used jarred)
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • flat leaf parsley for garnish
  • parmesan cheese for garnish

Instructions

  • Heat 2 tablespoons of butter with the olive oil in a deep sided braising or saute pan over medium-low heat. Add the leeks and cook for about two minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
  • Stir in the barley and let the oils coat the grains. Stir in the wine and let it cook until the wine is absorbed. Proceed to stir in the chicken stock, one cup at a time, letting the barley absorb the liquid between additions. Continue until the risotto is creamy and soft, about 30 minutes. You may or may not need to use all the chicken stock. Towards the end of the cooking, add the vegetables and continue to cook, adding chicken stock as necessary, until the asparagus is cooked and just fork tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the remaining butter. Serve hot, garnished with chopped parsley and parmesan cheese.

Nutrition

Calories: 679kcal | Carbohydrates: 86g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 613mg | Potassium: 852mg | Fiber: 18g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1301IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 5mg
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see! Tag @kitchconfidante on Instagram and hashtag it #kitchenconfidante

Comments

Recipe Rating




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  1. Cindy

    Hi! I’ve been following your site for a long time now and finally got the courage to go ahead
    and give you a shout out from Houston Tx! Just wanted to telpl you
    keep up the great job!

    Reply
  2. Perry Decourt

    Arborio rice is an Italian short-grain rice. It is named after the town of Arborio, in the Po Valley, where it is grown. When cooked, the rounded grains are firm, creamy, and chewy, due to its higher amylopectin starch content;[1] thus, it has a starchy taste but blends well with other flavours. It is used to make risotto, although Carnaroli, Maratelli and Vialone Nano are sometimes used to prepare the dish. Arborio rice is also used for rice pudding.,

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    Reply
  3. Jen

    Wow! Thank you so much for such beautiful pictures and drool-worthy recipes. I just found your blog a couple weeks ago and I’m finding it so inspiring! I’m going to try making the Barley Risotto tonight.

    Reply
  4. Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings

    Hi, Liren! I’ve seen this contest from other bloggers, too! I will be sure to click on yours as well!!! I actually have the Dijon Le Creuset 28 round Dutch oven – not sure how many quarts is that, but I LOVE LE CREUSET! If I could afford their entire line, I would buy them all and use it for everything, everyday!!! This Quince line is a lighter version of their Dijon, but I’m liking it!!! Our kitchen has grey lacquer cabinets and a white stone countertop – severely minimal. BUt when I take out my Dijon Le Creuset, it gives our kitchen that needed pop of colour! So, if only my pot came with this beautiful risotto to eat, it would be PERFECT! Hahaha! So yummy…

    Reply
  5. Priscilla | ShesCookin

    Yes, sunny yellow has a way of brightening your day! I LOVE this Quince color and the sunny, spring-is-coming dish you prepared in it! Beautiful, Liren. Good luck – i’m pinning and liking your photo right now :)

    Reply
  6. Daneal

    Hi Liren! I just got my first CSA box today and it contains artichokes. Do you think I could use fresh artichokes in this recipe? (In the picture it looks like you used canned?) Should I steam the hearts before using them? Love your blog! Your recipes and photography are inspiring! Thank you!

    Reply
    • liren

      Hi Daneal! Oh, absolutely (and how exciting! I just love how the veggies are starting up again!)!! There’s nothing better than fresh, though you are correct, I used jarred artichokes for convenience (and laziness, shh). I would steam the hearts and they will surely taste better than my jarred ones :)

      And thank you SO much for your kind words. That means a whole lot to me.

      Happy Cooking!

      Reply
  7. Brian

    Such a beautiful dish! i can’t wait to get back into artichokes and asparagus (not quite ready here in the northeast). Looks amazing!

    Reply
  8. Jean

    How fun! You can count on my vote–lovely pictures!

    You can tell from my blog that I love yellow–I just can’t wear it. I still love to look at anything and everything yellow, though. It makes me instantly happy (but green is my favorite color).

    Love the braiser–I’ve found myself using mine for so many different dishes. Would be wonderful to own this beautiful quince shade. :) Again, pretty pictures! Good luck, Liren!

    Reply
  9. Rach

    Yellow is a lovely color. And that pan is lovely. Your risotto recipe looks absolutely delicious!

    Reply
    • liren

      I wish I could wear more yellow, it makes me instantly happy. I’ll settle for cooking in it :)

      Reply
    • liren

      Thank you, Laura, I appreciate it! I really am in love with the Quince color – so happy!

      Reply
  10. Norma-Platanos, Mangoes and Me!

    What a delight…my two favorite veggies….

    Reply
    • liren

      Thank you, Marcie! I am definitely getting antsy for spring and summer and all the produce!

      Reply
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