Barley, Mushroom, and Winter Squash Risotto

Prepared with Parmesan cheese, vegetable broth, and fresh vegetables, this vegetarian risotto can stand on its own as a hearty high-fiber meal.

This recipe serves: 8


1 large acorn or butternut squash, halved and seeded (about 1 1/2 pounds)

3 1/2 cups light vegetable stock or water

1 tablespoon ground turmeric

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 cloves garlic, finely minced

1 red onion, peeled, ends removed and diced

1 pound chantarelles or portobello mushrooms, sliced

1 cup barley

Salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup snipped, fresh chives

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cooking instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 400°F. Cut the squash surface down, then place in an oven-proof baking dish. Place on the lower rack of the oven and cook until tender, about 1 hour. Remove from the oven, scoop out the flesh in tablespoon size pieces from the skin and reserve.

2. Meanwhile, place the barley in a fine strainer and rinse under cold running water to remove any residue of the bitter husks. Drain thoroughly.

3. In a small saucepan, bring the stock or water to a boil and add the turmeric. Keep the seasoned stock hot over low heat.

4. Heat the olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until tender and slightly browned, about 10 minutes. Add the barley cooking until the grains are hot, about 3 minutes.

5. Add 1 cup of hot stock and cook until just about all of the liquid has been absorbed. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Continue to add the stock 1 cup at a time, letting the barley absorb the stock before adding more. The barley is cooked when the grains are al dente, tender yet still with a resilient bite, about 20 to 25 minutes total.

6. Stir in the squash chunks just to reheat without crushing. Remove from the heat. Stir in half of the chives and Parmesan cheese. Adjust the seasonings one last time as necessary.

7. Spoon the risotto into warm rimmed soup plates. Garnish with the remaining chives and Parmesan cheese.

Nutrition information

Serving Size: about 1 cup

Number of Servings: 8

Per Serving

Calories 208

Carbohydrate 38 g

Fat 5 g

Fiber 9 g

Protein 8 g

Saturated Fat 1 g

Sodium 487 mg