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Roasted Beetroot & Pearl Barley Risotto with a Coriander Cream Drizzle and Asparagus Spears

Who would have thought that swapping the arborio rice for pearl barley would create such a fantastic risotto dish. (Now for those on Gluten Free, I’d stick with the Arborio Rice as I don’t think Pearl Barley is suitable, but the dish will work just as well with risotto rice so don’t worry). I loved this dish, the colour is deep and gorgeous and I nearly are all the coriander cream before I could put it on the plate, it’s scrumptious.

The asparagus made it onto the recipe thankfully, I’m embarrassed to say that I think that might have been the first time I’ve eaten asparagus and first impressions are favourable, it’s really tasty.

It feels like this week has just flown by, I’ve got my in-laws arriving next Sunday for 10 days, then they leave and our friend is out to visit us for a week, we then have 2 weeks break and then another visitor for a week and I think that’s everyone been for a visit, so I really need to sit down and plan my menus for them coming, got a few ideas, might re-visit some I’ve done before. I can’t go wrong with the sweet stuff, everyone loves cake, but it’s not a great diet if all I feed them is dessert… mmmmmm desserts!

Roasted Beetroot & Pearl Barley Risotto with a Coriander Cream Drizzle and Asparagus Spears (Vegan with Gluten Free Option)
Feel The Difference Range
Serves 2 – ready in an hour

For the risotto

1 and 1/4 cup of pearl barley (rinsed and drained)
2 and 1/2 cups of vegan stock
1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

For the Beetroot

4 small raw beetroots, peeled and chopped
1 tbsp dried basil
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup hot water

For the Coriander Cream

1/2 cup cashews
Handful of fresh coriander (cilantro)
1/2 tbsp lemon juice
1 clove garlic
3 tbsp water


1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celcius and prepare a baking tray

2. Add the pearl barley to a sauce pan and add the vegan stock, bring to the boil over a medium/high heat then reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

3. In the meantime, add the chopped beetroot to the baking tray, drizzle over the balsamic vinegar and water then sprinkle with basil & black pepper, toss to coat everything and pop in the oven to roast for 30 minutes, turning occasionally.

4. To make the coriander cream, just add everything to a food processor (or use a stick blender) and pulse until smooth, add the water gradually though to make it a consistency you are happy with.

5. For the asparagus, take your spears and bend them until the ends snap off, trim with a knife to tidy them up, pop on a baking tray, add a little black pepper and pop in the oven for the last 15 minutes that the beetroot is cooking.

6. To bring everything together, mix the beetroot through the pearl barley, add the other 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and pop onto a plate, drizzle over the coriander cream and top with a few spears of asparagus.

5 thoughts on “Roasted Beetroot & Pearl Barley Risotto with a Coriander Cream Drizzle and Asparagus Spears

  1. The only place where I’ve seen/heard such long recipe titles was the MasterChef. It’s great to know what to expect from a dish even before reading the recipe. Your dishes are impressive and it feels like you plan them in the smallest details. I absolutely love the taste and ingredient combinations that you make. This stunning risotto would be a great change from the sweet pudding-like barley I’m used to:)

  2. How incredibly delicious this was! I was so eager to see that gorgeous colour on my plate and to taste the risotto. What a lovely change from the regular oil/butter-based one, I can’t wait to make it again. Thank you so much for sharing the recipe.

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