Barley & broccoli risotto with lemon & basil

Barley & broccoli risotto with lemon & basil

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(13 ratings)

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 35 mins plus overnight soaking


Serves 2

Barley and broccoli are packed with vitamins to lower cholesterol and regulate your appetite. This vegan, low-calorie supper will keep you fuller for longer

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal378
  • fat14g
  • saturates1g
  • carbs49g
  • sugars5g
  • fibre7g
  • protein11g
  • salt0.1g


  • 100g wholegrain pearl barley
  • 2 tsp reduced-salt vegetable bouillon powder
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
    Rapeseed oil

    Rapeseed oil

    If you want a light alternative to other cooking oils, rapeseed is a great choice and has…

  • 1 large leek, chopped



    Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2/3 pack basil



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • generous squeeze of lemon juice



    Oval in shape with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile…

  • 125g Tenderstem broccoli from a 200g pack



    Like cabbage and cauliflower, broccoli is a brassica and is sometimes known by its Italian name…


  1. Pour a litre of cold water over the barley, cover and leave to soak overnight.

  2. The next day, drain the barley, reserve the liquid and use it to make 500ml vegetable bouillon. Heat half the oil in a non-stick pan, add the leek and cook briefly to soften. Tip half into a bowl, then add the barley and bouillon to the pan, cover and simmer for 20 mins.

  3. Meanwhile, add the garlic, basil, remaining oil, the lemon juice and 3 tbsp water to the leeks in the bowl, and blitz to a paste with a stick blender

  4. When the barley has cooked for 20 mins, add the broccoli to the pan and cook for 5-10 mins more until both are tender. Stir in the basil purée, heat very briefly (to retain the fragrance), then spoon into bowls to serve.

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Comments, questions and tips

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6th Aug, 2018
This is lovely. Very light on the stomach. I cooked the broccoli separately as there wasn't much liquid in the risotto at that point in the recipe. I also added the juice of a full lemon rather than just half to give it an extra kick. Went down well with my family.
25th Oct, 2016
I didn't expect much from this given the ingredients, but it was so tasty!
dreamweaver's picture
8th Jun, 2016
I could not get whole grain pearl barley which was lucky, because I did not read the recipe until I was ready to cook it and I did not realise that I had to soak it overnight.
26th Jan, 2020
How much basil is there in a pack?
goodfoodteam's picture
27th Jan, 2020
Hello, thanks for your question. Th average pack of basil weighs around 25g. Use 2/3rds of this, as stated in the recipe.
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