Saffron barley risotto

  • A little tricky

Barley is the perfect autumn grain for a warming dish, and this recipe from Jack Stein combines it with parmesan and mascarpone to give the risotto a comforting creaminess

Barley risotto

Deliciously nutty and filling, barley is the perfect autumn grain for a warming dish.

This recipe from Jack Stein’s World on a Plate combines it with parmesan and mascarpone cheese, to give it the comforting creaminess that normally comes from the risotto rice starch.

Greek butter bean and tomato soup


  • Vegetable stock 1.25 ltr
  • Olive oil 2 tbsp
  • Onion 1, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves 2, crushed
  • Parmesan rind
  • Parmesan cheese 60g, grated
  • Pearl barley 250g
  • Dry white wine 200ml
  • Mascarpone cheese 50g
  • Saffron a big pinch
  • Salt and pepper

For the parsley oil gremolata

  • Parsley handful, finely chopped
  • Garlic cloves 2, finely chopped
  • Lemon 1, zest and juice
  • Extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp


  • Step 1

    Pour the vegetable stock into a deep pot ad bring to simmering point over a medium heat, then turn down to keep the stock warm.

  • Step 2

    In another pot, place the olive oil, onion, garlic and parmesan rind; season with salt. Stir together over a medium-low heat until softened but not coloured (about 15 minutes). Add the rinsed barley to this pot and turn up the heat. Cook the barley for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent it from catching.

  • Step 3

    Add the white wine and allow to evaporate. Now begin adding in the stock, one ladleful a a time, stirring each one in until almost absorbed before adding the next. Continue this process until all the stock has been incorporated and the barley is cooked al dente. Remove from the heat, stir through 50g of the parmesan and the mascarpone and saffron, and cover to keep warm.

  • Step 4

    Now make the gremolata. Put the parsley, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a bowl; mix together and season with salt.

  • Step 5

    Sprinkle with lemon zest and a little extra grated parmesan and serve.

Extract taken from Jack Stein's World on a Plate (Absolute Press)