Pearl Barley / Spelt Risotto

This recipe is a result of a random experiment which came about out of the worry that I eat too much rice.  White rice = processed = not good for you.  I have recently tasted spelt and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall has been banging on about it on River Cottage, so I reckoned, why not give it a try. I also had some pearl barley which I thought would be a good substitute. And this dish was born.

What went in:

a cup of pearl barley
a cup of spelt
a few cloves of garlic
chunks of chicken
sweet potato
parmesan cheese
black pepper



First, fry some bashed/chopped garlic in some olive oil until just light brown. I don’t tend to use butter, but feel free to chuck some in if you like.  You can also use some onion and saute until transluscent – I didn’t have some around when I made this.

Add the grains and stir around until well coated. Stir in some of the stock (ideally boiling) until absorbed.  Carry on adding more stock, stirring until absorbed by the spelt/barley. Repeat. 

n another hob, dry fry some chopped chorizo in a pan.  Some of the fat will render out so no need to add oil.  Add the chicken pieces and cook until the chicken acquires some colour.   When this is done, add to the risotto, alongside the sweet potato cubes.

Continue adding more stock to the risotto until cooked – the grains should still have a bite to them. To finish, mix in some grated parmesan, a lot if you fancy.  Mature cheddar also works well.  Serve on a bed of raw spinach for extra health points, and some cracked black pepper on top! 

Gobble-up!!  😀