Barley and root vegetable 'risotto'

If you are running out of ideas for carrots and beetroot that come so often in organic veg boxes, this is the recipe to try, it uses both. Very healthy and really tasty. It is not quite a risotto, well there is no rice in it, but the consistency and the cooking method is the same.  It is easy and quick, ready in 30 minutes, really. It has a lovely colour and looks great with the garnish of chopped spring onions.

* indicates that the ingredient is organic / easily available in the UK as organic

Prep time 2 mins

Cooking time 30 mins

Serves 3 and a baby


200g barley

1 onion*

3 garlic cloves*

2 tomato stock cubes*

3 carrots*

1 large beetroot* (or 2 small)

1 large sweet potato* (or 2 small)

2 tablespoons olive oil*

a few spring onions*

salt and black pepper* to taste


Boil a kettle. Heat olive oil in a large pan and add finely chopped onion and garlic and fry for a minute. Now add barley and fry for another minute. Dissolve stock cubes in 750ml of boiling water. Add gradually to the pan together with vegetables cut into small cubes starting with carrot, then beetroot and lastly sweet potato. Cover and cook on a low flame until barley and vegetables are soft and stock is absorbed. You may need to adjust the amount of water, but you will definitely need at least 750ml of stock. Adjust seasoning to taste. Garnish with chopped spring onions.

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