Recipe: Barley risotto with mushrooms, spinach, and fried onions


Barley risotto: Enoki, Black Oyster, and Seafood mushrooms with fresh spinach, and fried onions.


  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 cups mixed mushrooms
  • 1 cup pot barley or pearl barley
  • 2 1/4 cups stock, vegetable or chicken
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, optional
  • 1 T butter *Kerry Gold if available
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe’s Gourmet fried onions, or carmelized onions
  • 1/2 cup fesh grated parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh grated nutmeg
  • Zest of lemon, approx 2 teaspoons


1. Heat olive oil in cast iron pan.

2. Add minced garlic.

3. Place mushrooms in pan, saute. * Lots of liquid will accumulate – remove and set aside.

4. Saute mushrooms until golden brown. Some crispy bits are extra delicious. Approximately 15 minutes, enjoy the delectable aroma. Keep removing excess liquid and add to bowl set aside.

5. Once golden brown, add sauteed mushrooms to the separate bowl.

6. Place stock in pot, start with 1 1/4 cups, add barley, bring to a bowl. Then place on lower heat, simmer with lid on. Continually adding more stock at 10 minute intervals. Stirring at same time.The process takes approx 35-45 minutes to obtain a creamy consistency.  Note barley isn’t as creamy as Arborio rice. Continue cooking down the liquid, adding more stock to achieve the consistency you desire. Adding the dry white wine, if you prefer. Or just drink the wine!

7. Stir. Drink. Stir. Drink. Another note. Don’t drink and blog! Oh heck, enjoy! K or Kk never KKK! Showing my oddness. Enjoying my own company. 😉 My logic is that I am not actually drinking alone, I am simultaneously sharing a drink with my brother-in-law Joby who is currently in New Zealand.😉

8. When risotto is reduced to the consistency you desire, add fresh spinach, Trader Joe’s Gourmet fried onions. If not available, add onions that you have caramelized. Add 1 T of Kerry Gold butter (which is so yummy). Of course you may add any butter you have readily available. Add the mushrooms. Stir everything.

9. Add fresh grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Flavoured sea salt is a bonus. Sprinkle with fresh grated nutmeg. Oh so yummy.

10. Serve with zest of lemon on top.

Enjoy…with the rest of your wine!


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2 thoughts on “Recipe: Barley risotto with mushrooms, spinach, and fried onions

    1. todallychris Post author

      Hello Linda,
      Tried and true…yummy. Love barley as a substitute for arborio…oatmeal…well…back to the drawing board for that combination. Enjoy Mexico…I am sure you will create many amazing dishes there. Always great to see you guys! Now I want miso white fish. Think I will make a recipe up…😉

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