Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

Pearl barley risotto with mushrooms, leeks and garlic


One of the winners of our 100th Issue recipe competition, interpretation officer Emma Booth (far left) impressed the Stylist panel with this alternative risotto, which makes a delightful main course.

Preparation time

10 minutes

Cooking time

45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 whole heads of garlic, cloves separated, skin on
  • 4 tbsps extra virgin olive oil
  • 150g mixed mushrooms (enoki, shiitake, chanterelles or porcini), sliced
  • 11/2 leeks finely chopped
  • 200g pearl barley, rinsed
  • 1 tsp picked fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 600ml vegetable stock
  • 200ml boiling water
  • 15g butter
  • 25g Parmesan, grated
  • 2 tbsps mascarpone
  • Black pepper
  • Micro leaf garlic chives to garnish


Step 1: Cover the garlic cloves in a tablespoon of the olive oil and place in a shallow ovenproof dish. Bake for 25 minutes at 190˚C/gas 5, then leave to cool. Peel each clove and roughly chop.

Step 2: Using two tablespoons of oil, fry the mushrooms until golden, set aside.

Step 3: Using the same pan, heat the butter and the last of the oil and fry the leeks over a medium heat until soft and translucent. Add the pearl barley, thyme, cooked garlic, stock and water, and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the barley is soft but still has a little bite in the centre. Add water if needed. Once cooked, stir in the mushrooms, Parmesan and mascarpone, season with black pepper and garnish with the garlic chives.



Tagliolini au gratin with prawns and treviso


Ladurée macaroons citron


Leek, Bacon & Blue Shropshire Risotto



20 ways to celebrate Thanksgiving

Hearty autumnal recipes from our friends across the pond

25 Nov 2015

10 Christmas recipes for a showstopping festive feast

10 showstopping recipes for a truly unforgettable festive feast

23 Nov 2015

Recipe: How to make Nigella’s Pumpkin bundt cake

Extracted from 'Simply Nigella: Feel Good Food'

23 Nov 2015

Forget sherry. These are the top wines to drink at Christmas

If Christmas was a wine, these would be it...

23 Nov 2015

Where to eat the best eggs in Britain

Weekend brunch lovers, ahoy

20 Nov 2015

Goodbye Cronuts. These are the hottest new baking creations

From biskies to ice-cream macarons

12 Nov 2015

World's first edible alcohol sweet shop comes to London

Your festive tipple, licked by Anna Pollitt

06 Nov 2015

Templates to create a Christmas gingerbread street

03 Nov 2015

The most filling and warming one-pot dishes

Minimal dishes, maximum flavour.

02 Nov 2015

How to cook the perfect poached egg

Top chefs decode the secret to poached egg perfection

30 Oct 2015