Mushroom and Barley Risotto

The other day I made an easy and fast mushroom barley risotto. This is a great receipe because you can adapt it to what you have in the kitchen or you can add cheese or no cheese. Cheese for the hubbie no cheese for me. I also switched out organic vegetable broth for the chicken broth. Let me know what you think if you end of making this dish.



Begin with all the prep work. This is where I usually bring the hubbie in.






My little helper.....Miss Jessica.


She did more chewing than helping.



My husband also made halibut that was lightly floured and pan seared.



2 cups boiling water
1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 (8-ounce) package cremini mushrooms, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups uncooked pearl barley
3 tablespoons brandy
1 3/4 cups water
1 cup fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 ounces fresh pecorino Romano cheese, divided (I skipped this)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


1. Combine 2 cups boiling water and porcini mushrooms; let stand 20 minutes. Drain mushrooms through a sieve over a bowl, reserving liquid. Finely chop mushrooms.

2. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add olive oil to pan, and swirl to coat. Add onion; cook for 4 minutes. Add cremini mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add porcini mushrooms and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add barley; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add brandy; bring to a boil. Cook until liquid almost evaporates (about 1 minute), stirring occasionally.

3. Stir in reserved mushroom liquid, 1 3/4 cups water, and broth; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 55 minutes or until liquid evaporates and barley is tender, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Grate 1/4 cup (1 ounce) cheese; stir grated cheese and salt into barley mixture. Sprinkle with parsley. Shave remaining 1 ounce cheese over top.

Recipe from Cooking Light.


  1. Did you use the bag of pearl barley or the box of quaker?

  2. ha ha!

    I just noticed I had two packs of barley. I used the box, but had the bag in case I ran out, which I did not :)

  3. Looks good! I will try this out. Do you think it's okay to leave the brandy out? Would it need to be replaced with something else? Thanks Liz!!!

  4. Yeah, I think you can leave the brandy out....actually, I don't think it did much with the flavor. Just keep a little vegetable broth handy in case you need to add more OR you can always add water :)


Thank you for leaving a comment! I love reading each and every comment and will reply to them here in this comment section. Thanks!