Pearl Barley Risotto with Autumn Vegetable Fritters

Pearl Barley Risotto with Autumn Vegetable Fritters

SERVES: 4-6 | PREP TIME: 15 min | COOK TIME: 30-40 min

Pearl barley is a wholesome and hearty alternative to traditional risotto rice. We have paired it with crispy seasonal fritters using a combination of white and red beetroot and our delicious delicata squash for a comforting autumnal dinner. 


300g pearl barley
1 leek, use ¾ of the lighter end
1 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 sprig of thyme
1.2 litre chicken or veg stock
30ml white wine (optional)
1 tablespoon butter or oil
1 large handful kale
1 or 2 tbs grated parmesan or
cheddar cheese (optional)
Salt and pepper
For the fritters:
400g grated autumn veg
2 spring onions
1 egg
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon each of mixed
spice and ground coriander
1 tablespoon oil
Salt and pepper


1. Prep your ingredients:

  • Dice your onion or leek and finely chop the garlic
  • Tear the kale into small pieces
  • Peel and grate the autumn veg (turnip/beetroot/squash) and slice the spring onions

2. For the risotto, put the butter or oil in a pot and heat gently. Add the leeks and garlic and cook until softened.

3. Add in the pearl barley and mix well until it is coated with the leeks and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Pour in the wine (if using) and stir for a minute or two then pour in half of the stock. Stirring occasionally, cook for about 15 minutes until most of the liquid is absorbed, then pour in the rest of the stock and cook until the barley is tender. Towards the end, add in the kale and stir in the parmesan or cheddar cheese.

4. Squeeze the moisture out of the grated veg, put in a bowl and mix well with the flour, egg, and spices and season with salt and pepper. Make eight patties and chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

5. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the fritters, flattening them down as they cook. Turn after 3-4 minutes and continue cooking until they are crispy and golden and serve on top of the risotto.