Pearl Barley and Tomato Risotto

(VG/GF) - Serves 4

Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 50 mins


Optional extras: lemon rind (add with , fresh oregano leaves, vegan feta (crumbled to finish)



  1. Rinse the pearl barley well under cold water and leave to drain.
  2. Melt the vegan butter and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the celery, shallot and garlic on a gentle heat for 5 minutes, or until softened.
  3. Add the pearl barley, vegetable stock, thyme, paprika, chilli flakes, lemon rind (if using), bay leaves, chopped tomatoes, passata, 1/2 tablespoon of fine sea salt, and stir to combine.
  4. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a low simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure the risotto does not catch on the bottom of the pan.
  5. When ready, the barley should have softened and most of the liquid should have been absorbed.
  6. Meanwhile, toast the caraway seeds in a pan for a couple of minutes, then lightly crush them, taking care to leave some of the seeds whole. If using alongside vegan feta, add to the feta and add the remaining olive oil, stirring to combine (if not using feta, you can save these caraway seeds and oil for topping the dish with when serving instead!)
  7. Once the risotto is ready, check for seasoning and it's ready to serve!
  8. Top with toasted caraway seeds and a drizzle of olive oil (plus vegan feta and/or fresh oregano if you really want to impress!).

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