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Beet Barley Risotto

Download and Print Recipe Here

makes 3 servings

Barley is a warming grain. It contains some amount of gluten, but for those who are not bothered by gluten, is a very nutritious grain! It has notable amounts of niacin, a B vitamin that is connected to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. High in fiber, it is also a cholesterol-lowering food!

For this recipe, make the soup-sauce first and then the risotto.

Beet Barley RisottoBeet Soup-Sauce

Makes about 3 cups (enough for one recipe)


1 medium beet, roasted, peeled and chopped

1 tsp chopped fresh thyme

salt to taste

enough water or stock to cover the beet

How to roast beets:

Roast washed whole beets in 1 inch of water in a covered casserole dish.

Bake at 350F until beets are fork tender. ( about 90 mins, but depends on the beet!)

Cool slightly and peel by rubbing the skins off with your fingers or a towel (not your favourite white towel!)


  • Add thyme and roasted beets to blender.
  • Add stock or water to cover (start with 2 cups and add more to attain a smooth consistency.)
  • Blend until smooth.

Barley Risotto

Serves 3

While risotto means ‘rice’ in Italian the risotto method is what this dish is named for. Creamy yet with a chewy texture, barley is a nice replacement for rice in this dish.


  • Bring stock up to a simmer in a pot on the back burner.
  • Cook onion in some olive oil until translucent. Add barley and stir to coat with olive oil in the pot with the onions.
  • When the barley is coated and starting to make a ‘pop’ sound, deglaze with wine and cook until wine is absorbed.
  • Add one ladle at a time of stock and stir gently over low heat until stock is absorbed and barley is creamy but still has some bite. Season with salt. This takes about 30 – 45 mins so be patient- it’s worth it!
  • Add a few ladles of the beet soup-sauce and cook until the beet sauce has absorbed into the grains. The risotto should run from a spoon, but not look too soupy.

You may have extra sauce, but the beauty of the soup sauce is that is can be either. Save the rest and serve as a soup, or freeze it in cubes and add a few to your next risotto.

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