Barley Risotto with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil

This was a weeknight dinner that took a little time, but was super delicious especially when you pair it with the rest of the wine you didn’t use in the recipe.  Hopefully the rest of that bottle made it to the dinner table but at least you’re feeling good if it didn’t!

Any risotto is a labor of love and is going to take some time if you want it to turn out with the right consistency.  Using barley does add a little extra labor in the form of a stirring time commitment though, so be prepared to stand over the stove for awhile.  The prep work is a cinch, its really just the stirring process that takes all the time.  If you’re looking for a mind-numbing activity to get your mind off the work week, this recipe is for you.  And the best part?  After you’ve relaxed, you’re left with an awesome dinner!


  • 2 cans vegetable stock, (14.5 ounces each) – I like Kitchen Basics brand the best for its awesome flavor
  • 3 c. water
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 c. pearl barley
  • 3/4 c. dry white wine
  • 1 c. sun dried tomatoes, julienned (I used dehydrated ones that I re-hydrated in warm water for a few minutes, but you can use oil-packed tomatoes, too- just make sure to drain the oil)
  • 2 c. packed fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1/2 c. grated (about 2 ounces) Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
  1. In a medium saucepan, bring broth and  water just to a simmer.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add barley; cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Then add wine; cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 1 minute.
  3. Add 1 cup hot broth mixture; simmer, stirring occasionally, until almost absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes. Continue adding broth mixture in this manner until barley is tender and mixture is creamy, 40 to 50 minutes (you may not have to use all the broth). Add sun dried tomatoes; cook just to heat through, 4 to 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in basil and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, with extra cheese.

Adapted from Martha Stewart’s Great Food Fast

Categories: Entrees, Italian, Recipes | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Barley Risotto with Sundried Tomatoes and Basil

  1. I’ve never tried this, but it looks really rich and creamy. OK, but I will admit for laughs that I misread it to be barely risotto. Ooops.

  2. Confession: when I read your comment, I panicked thinking I really did type barely :)

  3. Pingback: Another Risotto Recipe: Barley Risotto with Eggplant & Tomatoes « foodistherapy

  4. Pingback: Don’t Judge Me: Risotto with Fresh Mozzarella, Tomatoes, and Basil « foodistherapy

  5. Pingback: Tomato & Sausage Risotto « foodistherapy

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