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Creamy lemon barley risotto

Did you know that you can make risotto from barley? This lovely ingredient is much cheaper than Arborio rice and it is one of the lowest GI (Glycaemic Index) grains around, making it a great choice for diabetics and for anyone who is trying to eat healthy. Our lemon barley risotto is nice and light for summer and packed with other veggies and flavour.


250g pearl barley
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup cream
¼ cup chopped parsley, plus extra to garnish
Salt and black pepper
Chilli flakes

1. Place the barley in a bowl and add 3 cups boiling water. Leave to soak for 10 minutes, then drain and set aside.
2. Melt the butter and oil in a pot over medium heat. Add the barley, carrots, celery, onion, garlic and zest. Fry for 5 minutes, until the onion is soft.
3. Heat the stock in another pot. Add 1 cup of the stock to the barley, bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes, until it has been absorbed. Repeat until all the stock has been absorbed, about 30 minutes.
4. Add the lemon juice, cream and parsley. Season with salt, pepper and chilli flakes. Garnish with extra parsley and serve.

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