Cheddar Cheese Pearl Barley Risotto


Hi guys!

I’ve been super busy lately, but thought I’d share this little pearl (pun intended) that I cooked yesterday. Pearl Barley is by far my favourite grain to cook with, I love the chewy texture and versatility, I add it to pretty much every soup I make.

On my last flight to New York, I ordered the vegetarian option for my meal and they served the most amazing cheesy pearl barley and I was obsessed! And its only taken me 5 and a half months to recreate it. We’re currently on a mission of clearing all the food out of our cupboards, and this recipe got rid of three jars (yay!). All the veggies I used in this recipe were already in the fridge, and you can substitute the ones you have in too!

I seriously love making grain based dishes (like quinoa, amaranth or freekeh) because it gives me the best kind of full feeling; healthy, satisfied and curbs every post-meal snack craving I get. This one is a lot richer than what I’d normally make, and a little serving goes a long way!

Serves 3-4 (or one female, and her forever hungry 6″4 boyfriend)


3 Large Carrots
1 Large Onion
1 Litre Chicken Stock (I used Chicken Bovril)
200g Pearl Barley
Lump of Cream Cheese
Half Tsp Tabasco
Handful of Runner Beans
200g Mature Cheddar, grated
1 Tsp Chives
1 Tsp Whole Grain Mustard
Salt and Pepper
Suggested garnish – asparagus and long stem broccoli


  1. Dice carrots and onion and saute.
  2. Add pearl barley to the pan, followed by the chicken stock.
  3. Let pan simmer for about 50 minutes, until all the stock has been cooked into the barley. Here I tasted the barley, and mine still had a little crunch so I added an extra 100ml and cooked that out. You want the barley nice and chewy!
  4. Add cream cheese, Tabasco, mustard and chives
  5. Add runner beans and cook for a further 3 minutes in the pan.
  6. Stir in grated cheddar cheese.
  7. Season to your taste with salt and pepper
  8. Serve, with charred asparagus and long stem broccoli




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