Written by Lydia in Gluten Free

For those of you who read my review of The Freemasons at Wiswell, you will know that I was inspired to make a risotto with the addition of pearl barley in the mix. I came across this recipe for pearl barley, walnut and goats cheese risotto which I have slightly adapted. If you could get hold of wild garlic to put into this instead of garlic cloves, then I think it would taste more akin to the one I had at The Freemasons but this is still just as delicious!


Serves 4-6

A good glug of olive oil/rapeseed oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
250g pearl barley
150g arborio rice
75ml white wine
1.3 litres of hot vegetable stock
Small bunch of thyme, leaves picked
150g kale, tough stalks removed, shredded
100g walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
125g soft goats cheese (rindless)/goats curd


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan and gently fry the onion and garlic for 10 minutes until soft.  Stir in the barley and arborio rice and fry for 2 minutes until the rice turns translucent.
  2. Add in the wine and cook off for 2 minutes. Then add in all the stock at once, along with thyme.
  3. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, stirring occasionally for 45 minutes or until the stock is absorbed and the barley and rice are creamy and tender (add a little more water if needed).
  4. Stir in the kale for the last 5 minutes of cooking time.
  5. Stir in most of the walnuts and half the goats cheese. Season to taste.
  6. Divide among bowls, top with the remaining cheese and walnuts. Serve immediately.







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