Barley Risotto with Ham

Photo Courtesy of Food Network

 I made this for supper Monday night.  Of course I made a few alterations.

Like… using carrots instead of mushrooms.  We’re not big fans of mushrooms.

Like…leaving out the white wine because that would have just been one more thing to buy that I didn’t have and I already had everything else and it cut calories too.

Like…adding minced garlic and onions instead of shallots.

Like…using thyme instead of rosemary because I didn’t have any of that either and I’m just not a huge fan of rosemary.

Like…using olive oil instead of butter because it’s better for you.

Soooo…I suppose you could say I made something LIKE this dish.  The concept was the same and it’s obviously a VERY versatile recipe!!!

What I really loved is the fact that the barley is such a healthy alternative to pasta.  It’s packed full of goodness!!!  I felt really good about myself eating this for supper. (Especially since I had 3 slices of pizza for lunch!  UGH!)

I can’t wait for the leftovers tonight!!!

Barley Risotto with Ham and Mushrooms


  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups quick-cooking barley
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 10 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced ham steak
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley


Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then add the shallots and cook until just soft, about 2 minutes. Add the barley and fennel seeds (if using), 1/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until the barley is lightly toasted, about 4 minutes. Add the mushrooms, rosemary and wine and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms are soft and the wine is absorbed, about 3 minutes.

Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer; cover, reduce the heat to medium low and cook until the barley is tender and almost all of the liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in the ham, parmesan and parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

Per serving: Calories 498; Fat 16 g (Saturated 9 g); Cholesterol 62 mg; Sodium 565 mg; Carbohydrate 64 g; Fiber 13 g; Protein 18 g

I’m fairly certain you’ll love it too!!

Peace, love and grateful grains!

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