Thyme Mushroom Pearl Barley Risotto

by Edward Daniel

Pearl barley makes a wonderful alternative to Arborio rice. I find pearl barley has this subtle crunchier taste as you bite into it. I made this dish over Christmas, last year – and, my best friend’s sister seemed to like it.

Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 10g of dried porcini mushrooms
  • 600 litres hot filtered water
  • 1 shallot chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 250g chestnut mushrooms
  • 250g pearl barley
  • 350ml dry white wine
  • a few sprigs of thyme, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
  • salt and black pepper to taste


  1. Soak the porcini mushrooms in 1.2 litres of hot water for about 30 minutes. Set the porcini mushrooms. The remaining water can be used as a stock.
  2. Sauté the shallot with the garlic in olive oil until the shallots turn translucent. Stir in the pearl barley and coat in the oil.
  3. Add the chestnut mushrooms and continue cooking for a few minutes.
  4. Pour in the wine. Stir regularly and simmer over a gentle heat until the liquid is absorbed.
  5. Ladle in the stock with the sprigs of thyme. Stir and simmer, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding the stock, until the rice is tender. This process will take about 45 minutes.
  6. When the risotto is almost done, add the porcini mushrooms and season with salt and pepper.
  7. Serve warm.


By Edward Daniel, Vegan Chef and Former Chair of The Vegan Society. Contributor to Vegan Life Magazine, Plant Based Magazine, Vegan Food and Living Magazine and OK! Magazine. Speaker and cooking demonstrator at Vegan Life Life Festival London, Mind Body and Spirit Festival London, Veganes Sommerfest Berlin, and Bali Vegan Festival. Author of "Essence: The Beginner's Guide to Veganism".


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