Barley Risotto and Purple Slaw

This creamy and luscious risotto dinner is pretty enough to be served in a restaurant, and hearty enough to please vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. Whole-grain barley is a healthier take on old-fashioned Arborio rice, and it has a more toothsome bite. Take note of the grain-toasting step, which is a simple way to add deep flavor to simmered grains. The dish is perfectly balanced thanks to a radicchio and parsley slaw—an unusual but delicious topping for risotto. Serve with a dry white wine or a spicy red one to cut through the richness.

Barley Risotto and Purple Slaw Recipe
Photo: Caitlin Bensel
Hands On Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
45 mins
4 serves


  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

  • 8 cups vegetable broth

  • 1 ½ cups pearl barley

  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

  • cup dry white wine

  • 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese (about ½ cup), plus shaved Parmesan for serving

  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced radicchio (from 1 small head)

  • ½ cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves

  • cup chopped toasted hazelnuts


  1. Whisk balsamic, 1 tablespoon oil, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl; set aside.

  2. Bring broth and 3½ cups water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium. Keep at a low simmer.

  3. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add barley, onion, garlic, and remaining ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until barley is toasted and onion softens, about 6 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring often, for 30 seconds. Ladle 1 cup broth mixture into skillet and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute. Ladle in remaining broth mixture, ½ to ¾ cup at a time, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed between additions, 25 to 30 minutes. Stir in grated cheese. Add up to ½ cup water to loosen consistency, if needed.

  4. Toss radicchio, parsley, and hazelnuts with balsamic mixture. Serve with risotto. Top with shaved cheese.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

527 Calories
72g Carbs
14g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Calories 527
% Daily Value *
Cholesterol 12mg 4%
Sodium 1688mg 73%
Total Carbohydrate 72g 26%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 14g

*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

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