Pearl Barley Risotto with Kale, Thyme & Goats Cheese

Pearl Barley Risotto with Kale, Thyme & Goats Cheese

After being on vacay for 3 and a half weeks in Florida, I could not wait to get back into my kitchen and innovate some new recipes. This recipe is the first thing I whipped up, and is a vegetarian dish, (providing that the goats cheese you are using is free of animal-based rennet).

Barley is one of the earliest known cultivated grains with a nut-like flavour and a chewy consistency. Pearl barley is hulled and the kernel has been polished. It is a great source of fibre and protein – sustaining energy for longer periods of time, is an excellent source of several B vitamins and contains iron – vital for red blood cell formation and function.


Serves 4

1 litre organic vegetable stock
organic extra virgin olive oil (evoo)
1 red onion diced
1 garlic clove finely chopped
1 medium-size leek sliced finely (white part only)
6 stalks kale
300g organic pearled barley
fresh sprigs thyme
goats cheese (hard)
himalayan sea salt
cracked black pepper


Gently heat the stock in a saucepan, and keep on a very low heat.

Add some evoo to a deep based pan over a medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and thyme and cook until the onion becomes translucent. Add the sliced leek and continue to sweat. You can add a little more evoo at this time if you need.

Stir in the pearled barley and mix to throughly coat.

Begin to add the heated stock, 1 ladle at a time – until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to stir. This process will take around 45 minutes for the liquid to be absorbed and the pearl barley to be cooked to a tender texture.


Whilst the barley is cooking, shred the kale (remove the stalks) and fry in a little evoo, with a sprinkle of himalayan sea salt. Fry for around 1 minute. You do not want to over cook, simply wilt.

When the pearl barley mixture is cooked, stir through the kale and some grated goats cheese to taste. Sprinkle with himalayan sea salt and pepper. Serve with some additional flakes of goats cheese and some thyme springs. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil.

Hope you love! x

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