Roasted vegetable pearl barley risotto


Prep Time

cook Time

Gluten Free
Diary free



“Swapping risotto rice for pearl barley which gives a nutty flavour, with over twice the amount of fibre and calcium than risotto rice. A great dish for packed lunches the next day too! ”



500 grams of pearl barley, washed and drained
500grams of vine tomatoes
350grams of red Romano peppers
Bunch of spring onions, ends chopped
2 cloves of garlic
2 red chillis
75grams of fresh coriander
75grams of parsley
250grams of green beans
300grams of spinach
2 tablespoons of nigella seeds
Chilli flakes (to taste)
Olive oil
Apple cider vinegar
2 unwaxed lemons
Sea salt and pepper to taste



  1. Pre heat your oven to 180c/gas mark 4. 

  2. Boil washed pearl barley for 50 minutes (or according to instructions on back of packet)

  3. Empty tomatoes on baking tray and cover in olive oil, salt and nigella seeds. On the other side of the baking tray lay the Romano peppers, spring onions, garlic, red chills and cover in olive oil and salt. Pop in the oven and roasted for 30 minutes

  4. Check the pearl barley and stir every 10 minutes, making sure it does not stick to the bottom of the pan

  5. Remove the ends of the green beans and boil these for 7 minutes. Remove and allow to cool

  6. Steam 3/4 of the spinach until wilted (keep the rest for later)

  7. Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and allow them to cool. Remove the tops of the spring onions and slice the body into strips, place in serving dish

  8. Slice the peppers into thin strips, slice the chilis ad place in serving dish

  9. Add the tomatoes to the serving dish with the green beans and spinach

  10. Drain the cooked pearl barley (it should still have a slight crunch but most water has been soaked up)

  11. Mix the pearl barley into the serving dish and mix all the vegetables into in. The juice residue from the tomatoes will coat the pearl barley

  12. Mix in the chopped coriander and parsley

  13. Add a large glug of olive oil over the dish and 2 table spoons of apple cider vinegar with the juice of 2 lemons. Mix this all in, with optional chili flakes, salt and pepper.

  14. Mix in the remaining 1/4 of uncooked spinach into the dish

  15. Serve with a side salad.

Sarah Macklin