Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Lemon

Colin Erricson/
  • Yield: servings


2teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1cup finely chopped onion
1cup pearl barley
1/2cup dry white wine
4cups reduced-sodium ready-to-use vegetable broth, divided
1pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1cup frozen petite peas, thawed
1/2cup packed fresh basil leaves, chopped, divided
1/4cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice


  1. In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and barley; cook, stirring, for 5 to 6 minutes or until onion is softened. Add wine and cook, stirring, for 3 to 5 minutes or until liquid is evaporated.
  2. Stir in 2 cups (500 mL) of the broth. Bring to a boil, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Add the remaining broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes or until barley is tender and mixture is creamy (there should still be some liquid).
  3. Stir in asparagus and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 4 to 5 minutes or until tender. Stir in peas, half the basil, cheese, lemon zest and lemon juice; simmer for 1 minute or until heated through. Serve sprinkled with the remaining basil.
Excerpted from 5 Easy Steps to Healthy Cooking by Camilla V. Saulsbury © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.

Nutritional Info *per serving

  • Calories 345
  • Fat 6
  • Saturated Fat 2
  • Cholesterol 10
  • Sodium 430
  • Carbohydrate 57
  • Fiber 15
  • Protein 12
  • Calcium 183